car·​rel | \ ˈker-əl How to pronounce carrel (audio) , ˈka-rəl \

Definition of carrel

 (Entry 1 of 2)

: a table that is often partitioned or enclosed and is used for individual study especially in a library


biographical name
Car·​rel | \ kə-ˈrel How to pronounce Carrel (audio) , ˈker-əl, ˈka-rəl \

Definition of Carrel (Entry 2 of 2)

Alexis 1873–1944 French surgeon and biologist

Examples of carrel in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web: Noun On my visit in the spring, tarps covered study carrels in the library to protect them from a leaky roof. Eliza Gray, Washington Post, "The cautionary tale of Hampshire College and the broken business model of American higher education," 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,, "Essential California: How Michael Jackson’s death broke the internet and legitimized TMZ," 26 June 2019 Teachers say students gather in bathrooms, library carrels and locker rooms to pass Juuls. Anne Marie Chaker, WSJ, "Schools and Parents Fight a Juul E-Cigarette Epidemic," 4 Apr. 2018 Four cozy red armchairs on the main floor, each framed by an oversize rectangular window, and an empty carrel with views of the treetops became my go-to spots. Sara Bliss, WSJ, "Why I Hated America’s Most Stunning Library—At First," 21 Sep. 2017 Academic rigor, facilities and the quality of teaching are all big parts of college life, but one of the most important factors—and possibly most overlooked—is the student in the next study carrel. Douglas Belkin, WSJ, "Where College Students Are Most Inspired by Their Peers," 26 Sep. 2017 At Nine52, a Hell’s Kitchen condo that began sales last spring, GAIA installed a 1,300-square-foot co-working space with corkboard walls, a long wooden table, sleek work carrels and a kitchen. Kim Velsey, New York Times, "Luxury Buildings’ Latest Amenity: Co-Working Spaces," 24 Mar. 2017

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'carrel.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

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First Known Use of carrel


1593, in the meaning defined above

History and Etymology for carrel


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

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Time Traveler for carrel

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The first known use of carrel was in 1593

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Cite this Entry

“Carrel.” The Dictionary, Merriam-Webster Inc., Accessed 28 January 2020.

More from Merriam-Webster on carrel

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with carrel Encyclopedia article about carrel

Comments on carrel

What made you want to look up carrel? Please tell us where you read or heard it (including the quote, if possible).


showing steady, earnest care and effort

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