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car·​ry-on ˈker-ē-ˌȯn How to pronounce carry-on (audio)
British : carrying-on
: a piece of luggage suitable for being carried aboard an airplane by a passenger


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: carried or suitable for being carried aboard
carry-on baggage

carry on

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carried on; carrying on; carries on

transitive verb

: to continue doing, pursuing, or operating
carry on research
carried on the business

intransitive verb

: to continue especially in spite of hindrance or discouragement
chose to carry on despite the weather
: to behave or speak in a foolish, excited, or improper manner
shocked at how he carries on

Examples of carry-on in a Sentence

Verb a toddler crying and carrying on in the store she bravely carried on despite the loss of her husband
Recent Examples on the Web
With the program, travelers are not required to take off their shoes, belts, or light jackets, or take their laptops or liquids out of their carry-on bags. Alison Fox, Travel + Leisure, 17 Nov. 2023 Plus, each order includes a zippered case to keep them stored together in your carry-on bag. Rebecca Martinson, Rolling Stone, 15 Nov. 2023 Spirit Airlines, for example, has a range of fees for a carry-on beyond the personal item included in ticket prices. Blane Bachelor, Condé Nast Traveler, 14 Nov. 2023 An American Airlines flight attendant places a carry-on bag in the overhead compartment. WSJ, 10 Nov. 2023 Firearms should never be brought to the security checkpoint in carry-on luggage, and airline employees should certainly be aware of that. Stepheny Price, Fox News, 7 Nov. 2023 At the base level Nice, passengers are limited to a personal item, while the Nicer seats guarantee an extra legroom seat, personal item and carry-on bag, and priority boarding. Stella Shon, Travel + Leisure, 7 Nov. 2023 Ideal for shoppers traveling on a budget, the carry-on suitcase converts into a personal item. Isabel Garcia, Peoplemag, 3 Nov. 2023 To avoid the hassle, this 40-liter pack is sized to exactly fit within most carry-on requirements, even on international flights. Alice Bennett, Travel + Leisure, 24 Oct. 2023
The compact case is smaller than a credit card, so it can easily be slid into your carry-on, personal item, or even your pocket without adding bulk. Merrell Readman, Travel + Leisure, 5 Mar. 2023 On Friday morning at Norfolk International Airport in Virginia, a feline was discovered inside a passenger’s carry-on bag during a security screening. Forrest Brown, CNN, 3 Mar. 2023 Like most LCCs, Norse Atlantic charges extra for many add-ons to your reservation, including carry-on and checked baggage, seat assignments and onboard food and refreshments on the cheapest tickets. Zach Wichter, USA TODAY, 3 Mar. 2023 Due to a risk of overheating, the FAA says spare lithium metal and lithium-ion batteries, including external battery packs and cellphone charging cases, must be placed in carry-on bags only. Hannah Sampson, Anchorage Daily News, 3 Mar. 2023 As a rule of thumb, an empty carry-on that's six pounds or less is considered lightweight. Rachel Klein, Popular Mechanics, 2 Mar. 2023 Louisa Ballou Half Moon One-Piece Swimsuit Now 75% Off Megan Thee Stallion, Bella Hadid, and Dua Lipa are just a sample of the celebrities who pack Louisa Ballou's botanical swimwear in their vacation carry-on bags. Halie Lesavage, Harper's BAZAAR, 1 Mar. 2023 Economy light follows the model of barebones economy, which allows passengers to bring one small carry-on only. Christopher Muther,, 28 Feb. 2023 Depending on the seating, there can be fees for carry-on and checked bags. Kenneth R. Gosselin, Hartford Courant, 28 Feb. 2023
The event will also be broadcast on cable in Spanish on Telemundo, which is carried on live TV streaming platforms. Danielle Directo-Meston, The Hollywood Reporter, 17 Nov. 2023 The festivities carried on Friday night with a dinner hosted by Daniel Craig, who held court with Omega’s private clientele hailing from all corners of the globe. Zachary Weiss, Vogue, 17 Nov. 2023 Pinned beneath the beast, the bloody young officer heaves himself to his feet and carries on with the siege. Peter Debruge, Variety, 15 Nov. 2023 People who’ve devoted decades to the cause are wondering how, or even whether, to carry on. Tim Busch, National Review, 14 Nov. 2023 Gentle Fluidity Gold is another vanilla-forward fragrance with notes of nutmeg and juniper berries that is carried on an amber wood base note. Danielle Sinay, Glamour, 13 Nov. 2023 Today we are left with the responsibility of carrying on what his imagination and creativity had only envisioned. Michelle Lee, Peoplemag, 10 Nov. 2023 Photo: Nomad Goods Though Apple has ditched leather across its product lineups, third-party accessory makers are carrying on full steam ahead. Dan Seifert, The Verge, 2 Nov. 2023 Although the interstate detoured the town's original concept, the residents' spirit carried on, and the Christmas theme remains. Melissa Locker, Southern Living, 30 Oct. 2023 See More

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

Word History

First Known Use


1890, in the meaning defined at sense 1


1967, in the meaning defined above


1638, in the meaning defined at transitive sense

Time Traveler
The first known use of carry-on was in 1638

Dictionary Entries Near carry-on

Cite this Entry

“Carry-on.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 28 Nov. 2023.

Kids Definition

carry on

: conduct entry 2 sense 2, manage
carries on a business
: to continue especially in spite of difficulties
still carrying on
: to behave badly
embarrassed at the way you carried on

More from Merriam-Webster on carry-on

Last Updated: - Updated example sentences
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