carrier

noun

car·​ri·​er ˈker-ē-ər How to pronounce carrier (audio)
ˈka-rē-
plural carriers
1
: one that carries : bearer, messenger
2
a
: an individual or organization engaged in transporting passengers or goods for hire
b
: a transportation line carrying mail between post offices
c
: a postal employee who delivers or collects mail
d
: one that delivers newspapers
e
: an entity (such as a hole or an electron) capable of carrying an electric charge
3
a
: a container for carrying
b
: a device or machine that carries : conveyor
4
5
a
: a bearer and transmitter of a causative agent of an infectious disease
especially : one who carries the causative agent of a disease systemically but is asymptomatic or immune to it compare reservoir sense 3a, vector entry 1 sense 2a
b
: an individual (such as one heterozygous for a recessive trait) having a specified gene that is not expressed or only weakly expressed in its phenotype
6
a
: a usually inactive accessory substance : vehicle
a carrier for a drug or an insecticide
b
: a substance (such as a catalyst) by whose agency some element or group is transferred from one compound to another
7
a
: an electromagnetic wave or alternating current whose modulations are used as communications signals (as in radio, telephonic, or telegraphic transmissions)
b
: a telecommunication company
8
: an organization acting as an insurer

Examples of carrier in a Sentence

I put the pet carrier in the car. The airline is the nation's largest carrier. Mosquitoes can be carriers of malaria.
Recent Examples on the Web Only one major carrier serves American Samoa, Hawaiian Airlines, which offers flights to and from Honolulu. Eve Chen, USA TODAY, 24 Feb. 2024 And from a common sense standpoint, not all cellular carriers were disrupted. Marshall Shepherd, Forbes, 23 Feb. 2024 The ultra-low-cost carrier Frontier Airlines has been expanding at Phoenix Sky Harbor International Airport in recent years. Michael Salerno, The Arizona Republic, 23 Feb. 2024 The new route makes American the only U.S. carrier to operate nonstop service between both airports. Michael Cappetta, Travel + Leisure, 23 Feb. 2024 The carrier is the country's largest, with more than 240 million subscribers. Michelle Chapman, Quartz, 23 Feb. 2024 The carrier will be wrapping up a 4-month deployment that included a headline-grabbing moment in January when the ship and the carrier USS Theodore Roosevelt, also based in San Diego, sailed in formation in the Philippine Sea with ships from the Japan Maritime Self-Defense Force. Gary Robbins, San Diego Union-Tribune, 22 Feb. 2024 The carrier has more than 240 million subscribers, the country’s largest. Michelle Chapman, Fortune, 22 Feb. 2024 Domestic carriers, including American Airlines, Delta Air Lines, Frontier Airlines, JetBlue, Southwest Airlines, Spirit Airlines, and United Airlines, have issued travel advisories, waiving change fees and fare differences to postpone flights. Stella Shon, Travel + Leisure, 13 Feb. 2024 See More

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

Word History

Etymology

Middle English carier, cariour, from carien "to transport, carry entry 1" + -er, -our -er entry 2

First Known Use

14th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1

Time Traveler
The first known use of carrier was in the 14th century

Dictionary Entries Near carrier

Cite this Entry

“Carrier.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/carrier. Accessed 1 Mar. 2024.

Kids Definition

carrier

noun
car·​ri·​er ˈkar-ē-ər How to pronounce carrier (audio)
1
: one that carries
mail carrier
2
: a person or firm engaged in transporting passengers or goods
3
a
: a bearer and transmitter of disease germs
especially : one who carries germs of a disease (as typhoid fever) in his or her system but is immune to the disease
b
: one who has a gene for a trait or condition (as sickle-cell anemia) that is not expressed in his or her system
4
: an electric wave or alternating current that is used to send signals (as for radio, television, telephone, and telegraph)

Medical Definition

carrier

noun
car·​ri·​er ˈkar-ē-ər How to pronounce carrier (audio)
1
a
: a person, animal, or plant that harbors and transmits the causative agent of an infectious disease
especially : one who carries the causative agent systemically but is asymptomatic or immune to it
a carrier of typhoid fever
compare reservoir sense 2, vector entry 1 sense 2
b
: an individual possessing a specified gene and capable of transmitting it to offspring but not expressing or only weakly expressing its phenotype
especially : one that is heterozygous for a recessive factor
2
: a usually inactive substance used in association with an active substance especially for aiding in the application of the active substance: as
a
: a support for a catalyst
b
: a vehicle serving especially as a diluent (as for an insecticide or a drug)
3
: a substance (as a catalyst) by whose agency some element or group is transferred from one compound to another

Legal Definition

carrier

noun
car·​ri·​er
1
: an individual or entity engaged in transporting passengers or goods for hire by land, water, or air
specifically : common carrier
2
: an insurer that assumes the risks of a policy that it issues to a policyholder
Last Updated: - Updated example sentences
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