car·​ri·​er | \ ˈker-ē-ər How to pronounce carrier (audio) , ˈka-rē- \

Definition of carrier

1 : one that carries : bearer, messenger
2a : 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
3a : a container for carrying
b : a device or machine that carries : conveyor
5a : 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
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
6a : 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
7a : 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.
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Recent Examples on the Web Mogul captures the entrepreneurial spirit of its subjects even when their dreams are never realized and perfects the package with impressive audio production values that are well suited to the show’s new carrier, Spotify. Laura Jane Standley, The Atlantic, "The 50 Best Podcasts of 2019," 27 Dec. 2019 The heists – which can sometimes be deadly for carriers and the robbers themselves – account for 20 percent of all armored car robberies across the entire country. Gabrielle Banks, Houston Chronicle, "Why Houston is the armored truck robbery capital of the United States," 17 Dec. 2019 The final experiment is slated for next week, with a decision on whether to proceed expected in March, the carrier said. Michelle Toh, CNN, "Qantas picks Airbus over Boeing to carry out the world's longest flights," 13 Dec. 2019 Later next year, the carrier says more 5G compatible phones at lower prices will hit the market. Aaron Pressman, Fortune, "T-Mobile Turns On 5G: What You Need to Know," 2 Dec. 2019 The carrier said the alert warning of possible delays could impact 2.7 million of its customers through Tuesday. Dennis Romero, NBC News, "Thanksgiving travelers headed home confront more wind, rain and snow," 1 Dec. 2019 A year ago, Hines carried the ball 85 times as a rookie—a little more than five carries per game—and often functioned as the team’s No. 2 ball carrier down the stretch. Joel A. Erickson, Indianapolis Star, "Insider: How the Colts are going to replace Marlon Mack," 18 Nov. 2019 And the carrier says the whole promo will be available until June 1, 2020. Ars Staff, Ars Technica, "Dealmaster: Get a year of Disney+ for free if you’re a Verizon Wireless user," 12 Nov. 2019 Chaymeriyia Moncrief Founder of Tesix Wireless Chaymeriyia Moncrief launched Tesix Wireless, a prepaid cell phone carrier, in December 2018. Ashley Edwards Walker, Marie Claire, "These 25-Year-Olds Are Forging the Future," 29 Oct. 2019

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'carrier.' 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 carrier

14th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1

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Time Traveler for carrier

Time Traveler

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

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Statistics for carrier

Last Updated

22 Jan 2020

Cite this Entry

“Carrier.” The Dictionary, Merriam-Webster Inc., Accessed 23 January 2020.

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More Definitions for carrier


How to pronounce carrier (audio)

English Language Learners Definition of carrier

: a container used to move something from one place to another
: a company that moves people or goods from one place to another
: a person or animal that can give a disease or a gene to others but is not affected by it


car·​ri·​er | \ ˈker-ē-ər How to pronounce carrier (audio) \

Kids Definition of carrier

1 : a person or thing that carries a mail carrier
2 : a person or business that transports passengers or goods or provides a certain service
3 : a person, animal, or plant that carries disease germs without showing symptoms and passes them on to others


car·​ri·​er | \ ˈkar-ē-ər How to pronounce carrier (audio) \

Medical Definition of carrier

1a : 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

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Legal Definition of carrier

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

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More from Merriam-Webster on carrier

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with carrier

Spanish Central: Translation of carrier

Nglish: Translation of carrier for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of carrier for Arabic Speakers Encyclopedia article about carrier

Comments on carrier

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


out of the ordinary or unreasonable

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