car·ry | \ ˈka-rē , ˈker-ē \
carried; carrying

Definition of carry 

(Entry 1 of 2)

transitive verb

1 : to move while supporting : transport her legs refused to carry her further —Ellen Glasgow

2 : to convey by direct communication carry tales about a friend

3 chiefly dialectal : conduct, escort

4 : to influence by mental or emotional appeal : sway She intended the play to carry audiences toward a sense of peace and understanding.

5 : to get possession or control of : capture carried off the prize

6 : to transfer from one place (such as a column) to another carry a number in adding

7 : to contain and direct the course of The drain carries sewage. Cables carry electricity to homes.

8a : to wear or have on one's person Police officers carry guns.

b : to bear upon or within one is carrying an unborn child

c : to harbor (a pathogen) within the body carry a virus

d : to possess a specified gene specifically : to possess one copy of a specified recessive gene and be capable of transmitting it to offspring parents carrying genes for cystic fibrosis

9a : to have or bear especially as a mark, attribute, or property carry a scar

b : imply, involve The crime carried a heavy penalty.

10 : to hold or comport (oneself, one's person, etc.) in a specified manner always carries herself with dignity and grace

11 : to sustain the weight or burden of Pillars carry an arch. is carrying a full course load

12 : to bear as a crop

13 : to sing with reasonable correctness of pitch carry a tune

14a : to keep in stock for sale The store carries a good selection of wines.

b : to provide sustenance for land carrying 10 head of cattle

c : to have or maintain on a list or record carry a person on a payroll carried six guards on the team

15 : to be chiefly or solely responsible for the success, effectiveness, or continuation of a player capable of carrying a team Her performance carried the play.

16 : to prolong or maintain in space, time, or degree carry a principle too far carry the wall above the eaves carried a no-hitter into the ninth inning

17a : to gain victory for especially : to secure the adoption or passage of The bill was carried in the Senate by a vote of 75–25.

b : to win a majority or plurality of votes in (something, such as a legislative body or a state) The bill carried the Senate by a vote of 75–25.

18 : to present for public use or consumption Newspapers carry weather reports. Channel nine will carry the game.

19a : to bear the charges of holding or having (stocks, merchandise, etc.) from one time to another

b : to keep on one's books as a debtor A merchant carries a customer.

20 : to hold to and follow after The dog could not carry the scent.

21 : to hoist and maintain (a sail) in use

22 : to pass over (something, such as a hazard) at a single stroke in golf carry a bunker

23 : to propel and control (a puck or ball) along a playing surface

intransitive verb

1 : to act as a bearer

2a : to reach or penetrate to a distance Voices carry well. Fly balls don't carry well in cold air.

b : to convey itself to a reader or audience

3 : to undergo or admit of carriage in a specified way a load that carries easily

4 of a hunting dog : to keep and follow the scent

5 : to win adoption The motion carried by a vote of 71–25.

carry a torch or carry the torch

1 : crusade

2 : to be in love especially without reciprocation : cherish a longing or devotion still carrying a torch for a former lover

carry the ball

: to perform or assume the chief role : bear the major portion of work or responsibility No one else is available to make the arrangements, so it's up to you to carry the ball.

carry the day

: win, prevail Truth and justice will carry the day.


plural carries

Definition of carry (Entry 2 of 2)

1 : carrying power especially : the range of a gun or projectile or of a struck or thrown ball

2a : portage

b : the act or method of carrying fireman's carry

c : the act of rushing with the ball in football averaged four yards per carry

3 : the position assumed by a color-bearer with the flag or guidon held in position for marching

4 : a quantity that is transferred in addition from one number place to the adjacent one of higher place value

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Examples of carry in a Sentence


I'll carry your luggage to your room. He was carrying his baby daughter in his arms. For two months, I carried the book around with me everywhere I went. The waitress carried away our empty dinner plates. The wind carried the smoke away from the campsite. These planes can carry up to 300 passengers. a ship carrying thousands of gallons of oil Oil is carried to the factory through these pipes. We installed gutters that will carry water away from the house. blood vessels that carry blood to the heart


He averaged four yards per carry this season.
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Recent Examples on the Web: Verb

Josh Allen, Jordan Jones and Mike Edwards passed up the NFL for another year on Kentucky’s defense, and star running back Benny Snell is back to try to carry the Wildcats through to the next tier in the SEC. Jake Lourim, The Courier-Journal, "How Louisville football can (and can't) beat Kentucky again," 13 July 2018 No details need to be worked out beforehand and no agency apparatus is needed to carry a pardon out. Campbell Robertson, New York Times, "Pardon Seekers Have a New Strategy in the Trump Era: ‘It’s Who You Know’," 12 July 2018 It’s pared down from vests built for ultras, which require the runner to carry more gear than an OCR, without compromising on features. Ariella Gintzler, Outside Online, "Testing Ultimate Direction’s New OCR Vest," 12 July 2018 Rowan, who is a diabetic , needs to carry hypodermic needles with her for medical reasons. Christopher Elliott,, "For people with diabetes, air travel can present a host of challenges," 12 July 2018 Croatia’s legs at the start seemed to carry the weight of so many minutes in the knockout stage, and a pressing England went up quickly. Ronald Blum,, "Croatia reaches first World Cup final," 11 July 2018 But the headlining events tend to carry a cost, ranging from $40 for early-bird admission to the All White Affair After Party on July 22, to $100 for the best seats at the Brandy, Blackstreet and Maze concert at Bankers Life Fieldhouse on July 21. Sarah Bahr, Indianapolis Star, "Here's what you need to know about Black Expo 2018," 11 July 2018 Corentin Tolisso was also introduced for Blaise Matuidi who looked to be carrying a knock as the French continued to run the clock down., "France 1-0 Belgium: Umtiti Heads Les Bleus Into World Cup Final as Red Devils Come Up Short Again," 10 July 2018 In Game 5 of the Eastern Conference finals, James set a then-career playoff-high in points, scoring his team's final 25, to carry Cleveland within a win of the NBA Finals. Aja Gaines, Detroit Free Press, "LeBron James' top moments vs. Detroit Pistons, even THAT playoff game," 10 July 2018

Recent Examples on the Web: Noun

As a sophomore running back, Fields had 69 carries for 389 yards and four touchdowns. Chris Hays,, "Two-sport standout Brandon Fields of Dr. Phillips commits to South Carolina," 5 July 2018 Jones saw action in five games and compiled five carries for 14 yards in 2017. Dakota Crawford, Indianapolis Star, "Colts waive 7 players including running back Matt Jones," 1 May 2018 Critics blame Keurig for bringing the trash-producing waste of carry-out with the taste of homemade coffee to homes and office kitchenettes across the country. Ashwin Rodrigues, Fortune, "Keurig Sales Skyrocket as Formerly Eco-Conscious Consumers Embrace Nihilism," 24 May 2018 Unlike with other installments in the series, there is carry-through from the last one to this. Todd Mccarthy, The Hollywood Reporter, "'Mission: Impossible — Fallout': Film Review," 12 July 2018 No carry-ins are allowed, but refreshments will be available for purchase at food trucks and a beverage stand. Hannah Kirby, Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, "5 things to do this week in the southwest suburbs," 10 July 2018 On the heels of that success, Slim & Husky’s opened a carry-out outpost with a cinnamon roll menu, aptly named The Rollout. Lizzy Alfs, USA TODAY, "Slim & Husky's: 'Pizza beeria' gives Nashville community a slice of fame," 10 July 2018 Dion Lewis is gone, and although Michel is probably his direct replacement, don’t forget about how Burkhead played with Lewis around in 2017 — six games with three or more catches, eight total touchdowns and over four yards a carry. Steven Ruiz, For The Win, "10 fantasy football sleepers we're irrationally excited about in 2018," 10 July 2018 With Terrance West departing for the New Orleans Saints and Danny Woodhead retiring, Collins, who ended last season ranked 11th in the league in rushing with 973 yards, no longer has to worry as much about sharing carries. Edward Lee,, "Ravens 2018 position-by-position breakdown: running backs," 10 July 2018

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


14th century, in the meaning defined at transitive sense 1


1858, in the meaning defined at sense 1

History and Etymology for carry


Middle English carien, from Anglo-French carier to transport, from carre vehicle, from Latin carrus — more at car

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Statistics for carry

Last Updated

1 Sep 2018

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for carry

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

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More Definitions for carry



English Language Learners Definition of carry

 (Entry 1 of 2)

: to move (something) while holding and supporting it

: to contain and direct the flow of (water, electricity, etc.)

: to have (something) with you or on your body



English Language Learners Definition of carry (Entry 2 of 2)

American football : the act of running with the ball


car·ry | \ ˈker-ē \
carried; carrying

Kids Definition of carry

1 : to take or transfer from one place to another Can you carry a package? You might need to carry a number in addition.

2 : to contain and direct the course of The pipe is carrying water to the sea.

3 : to wear or have on or within the body carry money She is carrying an unborn child.

4 : to have as an element, quality, or part Does the camera carry a guarantee?

5 : to have for sale The market carries fresh fish.

6 : to go over or travel a distance His voice carried across the river.

7 : support entry 1 sense 1, bear The building has pillars that carry an arch.

8 : win entry 1 sense 3 He will carry the election.

9 : to hold or bear the body or some part of it Carry your head high.

10 : to sing in correct pitch Can you carry a tune?

11 : to present to the public The story was carried on the evening news. The paper carries weather reports.

carry away

: to cause strong feeling in The music carried her away.

carry on

1 : to behave in an improper or excited manner Ramona cried and carried on so … that they sent her home. —Barbara Robinson, Best Christmas Pageant

2 : manage sense 1 They carry on a business.

3 : to continue in spite of difficulties The scientists carried on even without their equipment.

carry out

: to put into action or effect

car·ry | \ ˈkar-ē \
carried; carrying

Medical Definition of carry 

1 : to harbor (a pathogen) within the body many are unaware they carry the virus and could be infecting others —Donald MacGillis

2 : to possess a specified gene women who carry genes that increase the risk of breast cancer —Liz Szabo specifically : to possess one copy of a specified recessive gene and be capable of transmitting it to offspring screening tests to see whether parents carry genes for cystic fibrosis, Tay-Sachs disease or other defects —Lisa Greene

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Comments on carry

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