carrot-and-stick

adjective car·rot-and-stick \ ˌker-ət-ᵊn-ˈstik , ˌka-rət- \

Definition of carrot-and-stick

: characterized by the use of both reward and punishment to induce cooperation
  • carrot-and-stick foreign policy
  • the carrot-and-stick style of sales management

Origin and Etymology of carrot-and-stick

from the traditional alternatives of driving a donkey on by either holding out a carrot or whipping it with a stick


Learn More about carrot-and-stick


Seen and Heard

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

Love words? Need even more definitions?

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

Love words? Need even more definitions?

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