car·​rel ˈker-əl How to pronounce carrel (audio)
: a table that is often partitioned or enclosed and is used for individual study especially in a library

Examples of carrel in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web Shug Dula There were arcade games, staff lunches, and a library with study carrels. Adriane Quinlan, Curbed, 6 June 2023 Wray presented the Fairfield carrel to widespread acclaim at a library conference in March 2020, just before the widespread shutdown of public spaces, including libraries, coast to coast. Curbed, 25 Jan. 2022 Mortara brought the intriguing decision to Mitchell, who was ensconced in a library carrel. Jeannie Suk Gersen, The New Yorker, 5 Jan. 2023 The Fairfield carrel was designed to help caregivers with young kids in tow better access their local library. Curbed, 25 Jan. 2022 Plans call for the first-floor of the building to also include a community meeting room, study carrels, an exercise room, a technology room and offices for property-management staff. Robin Goist, cleveland, 5 Feb. 2020 Strung along these were a multitude of carrels, with here and there a snack bar. Richard Brookhiser, National Review, 23 Jan. 2020 On my visit in the spring, tarps covered study carrels in the library to protect them from a leaky roof. Eliza Gray, Washington Post, 21 Oct. 2019 There is plenty to be said about Michael Jackson’s complicated life and even thornier legacy — sufficient material to fuel an infinity of late-night debates and a half-dozen library carrels of dissertations. Julia Wick,, 26 June 2019

These examples are programmatically compiled from various online sources to illustrate current usage of the word 'carrel.' Any opinions expressed in the examples do not represent those of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback about these examples.

Word History


alteration of Middle English caroll, from Medieval Latin carola, perhaps from carola round dance, something circular, from Late Latin choraula choral song — more at carol

First Known Use

1593, in the meaning defined above

Time Traveler
The first known use of carrel was in 1593

Dictionary Entries Near carrel

Cite this Entry

“Carrel.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 12 Apr. 2024.

Biographical Definition


biographical name

Car·​rel kə-ˈrel How to pronounce Carrel (audio)
Alexis 1873–1944 French surgeon and biologist

More from Merriam-Webster on carrel

Love words? Need even more definitions?

Subscribe to America's largest dictionary and get thousands more definitions and advanced search—ad free!