carry

1 of 2

verb

car·​ry ˈker-ē How to pronounce carry (audio)
ˈka-rē
carried; carrying; carries

transitive verb

1
: to move while supporting : transport
her legs refused to carry her furtherEllen 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.
8
a
: 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
9
a
: 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
14
a
: 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
17
a
: 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.
19
a
: 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
2
a
: 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.
6
informal : to have a gun on one's person : to carry a gun
I did make one adjustment in the aftermath of Ned's attack. I hauled my H&K [handgun] and holster out of the trunk at the foot of my bed. If Ned was declaring war, I'd be carrying.Sue Grafton

carry

2 of 2

noun

plural carries
1
: carrying power
especially : the range of a gun or projectile or of a struck or thrown ball
2
a
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
Phrases
carry a torch or carry the torch
1
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.

Examples of carry in a Sentence

Verb 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 Noun He averaged four yards per carry this season.
Recent Examples on the Web
Verb
And so that comes with a lot of trauma, a lot of misunderstanding, a lot of unresolved feelings that men have to carry and still be able to hold the fort down. J.m. Banks, Kansas City Star, 15 May 2024 Kansas State and Utah are the favorites, according to the 2024 win totals published by FanDuel, but neither carries a total in double digits. Jon Wilner, The Mercury News, 15 May 2024 See all Example Sentences for carry 

These examples are programmatically compiled from various online sources to illustrate current usage of the word 'carry.' 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

Verb

Middle English carien "to transport by a cart, horse or other means, convey, bear in one's arms, on one's back, etc.," borrowed from Anglo-French carier, charier "to transport, bear in one's arms, carry off, drive" (continental Old French charrier, charroier, Picard & Norman carier), from carre, charre "cart, wagon, small cartload" + -ier, -oier, factitive verb suffix, going back to Latin -idiāre, originally representing variant pronunciation (or spelling variant) of -izāre -ize — more at car

Note: The variant suffix -ier may have arisen by analogy with verbs such as prier "to ask," from Latin precārī, which had variants with -i- and -ei- (> -oi-) depending on where stress fell on inflected forms, leading to generalization of one or the other form throughout the paradigm. Modern French has both charrier and charroyer. Compare ply entry 3.

Noun

derivative of carry entry 1

First Known Use

Verb

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

Noun

1844, in the meaning defined at sense 4

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

Dictionary Entries Near carry

Cite this Entry

“Carry.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/carry. Accessed 21 May. 2024.

Kids Definition

carry

1 of 2 verb
car·​ry ˈkar-ē How to pronounce carry (audio)
carried; carrying
1
: to support and take from one place to another : transport
carry a package
2
: to influence by appeal to the mind or emotions
the speaker carried the audience
3
: win entry 1 sense 3b, capture
carried off the prize
4
: to transfer from one place (as a column) to another
carry a number in addition
5
: to contain and direct the flow of
a pipe carries water
6
a
: to wear or have on one's person
carries a camera
b
: to bear upon or within one
carries a scar
she is carrying an unborn child
7
: imply sense 1, involve
the crime carries a penalty
8
: to hold the body or a part of it
carry your head high
9
: to sing in correct pitch
carry a tune
10
: to stock for sale
carries three brands of tires
11
: to keep on a list or record
carrying six drivers on the payroll
12
: support entry 1 sense 4a
pillars carry an arch
13
a
: to succeed in
carry an election
b
: to win a majority of votes in (as a state)
14
: to present for the public
newspapers carry weather reports
15
: to reach or travel a distance
a voice that carries well

carry

2 of 2 noun
plural carries
: a quantity that is transferred in addition from one number place to the one of next higher place value

Medical Definition

carry

transitive verb
car·​ry ˈkar-ē How to pronounce carry (audio)
carried; carrying
1
: to harbor (a pathogen) within the body
many are unaware they carry the virus and could be infecting othersDonald MacGillis
2
: to possess a specified gene
women who carry genes that increase the risk of breast cancerLiz 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

More from Merriam-Webster on carry

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