car·​ry-on | \ ˈker-ē-ˌȯn How to pronounce carry-on (audio) , ˈka-rē-, -ˌän \

Definition of carry-on

 (Entry 1 of 3)

1 British : carrying-on
2 : a piece of luggage suitable for being carried aboard an airplane by a passenger



Definition of carry-on (Entry 2 of 3)

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

carry on

carried on; carrying on; carries on

Definition of carry on (Entry 3 of 3)

transitive verb

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

intransitive verb

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

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Synonyms for carry-on

Synonyms: Noun

Synonyms: Verb

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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: Verb The game is scheduled for Monday at 10:20 p.m. ET and will be carried on ESPN. Joe Williams, USA TODAY Sportsbook Wire, "Denver Broncos at Oakland Raiders odds, picks and best bets [UPDATED]," 7 Sep. 2019 Lauren shaped so many of us, and left us with so much to carry on. Kevin J. Delaney, Quartz, "Remembering Lauren Brown, our colleague, mentor, and friend," 30 Oct. 2019 Celebrating five decades of championing the arts, the founders of the Carroll County Arts Council, those who have carried on the mission, city officials and members of the arts community recently shared their memories of the CCAC. Lyndi Mcnulty,, "‘Cheers for 50 more’: An oral history of the Carroll County Arts Council, celebrating its golden anniversary," 19 Oct. 2019 Most dentist agree that if healthy habits are formed early on, they can be carried on for life without many changes. Emy Rodriguez Flores, Redbook, "Here's How Often/How Long You Really Need To Brush and Floss Your Teeth," 4 Oct. 2019 Lucia Martinez, who carries on a legacy of family history in the neighborhood, leads the tour and tells the interesting stories behind the creations. Ray Mark Rinaldi, The Know, "Peek into a former sanatorium, French Gothic cathedral and more landmarks at Doors Open Denver," 15 Sep. 2019 Good morning, Broadsheet readers! Ivanka and Don Jr. are battling for the title of Trump successor, Rep. Susan Wild turns a personal tragedy into political action, and Tina Turner ‘the woman’ may be retired, but Tina Turner ‘the icon’ carries on. Fortune, "Tina Turner Doesn’t Feel Like Part of the #MeToo Movement: Broadsheet," 10 Sep. 2019 Dyanbook, which carries on the legacy of Toshiba’s PC division, already offers X-series laptops in 12-, 13-, and 14-inch models. Mark Hachman, PCWorld, "Dynabook launches 15-inch thin-and-light Tecra X50 notebook with some big conveniences," 5 Sep. 2019 And the Indian Institute of Astrophysics in Bengaluru is developing a small near-UV imager that the launch company OrbitBeyond would carry on its first mission in 2020. Daniel Clery, Science | AAAS, "Could humanity’s return to the moon spark a new age of lunar telescopes?," 18 July 2019

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


1890, in the meaning defined at sense 1


1967, in the meaning defined above


1600, in the meaning defined at transitive sense

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Time Traveler for carry-on

Time Traveler

The first known use of carry-on was in 1600

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Statistics for carry-on

Cite this Entry

“Carry-on.” The Dictionary, Merriam-Webster Inc., Accessed 16 December 2019.

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How to pronounce carry on (audio)

English Language Learners Definition of carry-on

 (Entry 1 of 2)

US : a small piece of luggage that a passenger can carry onto an airplane
British, informal : a moment of excitement or silly behavior



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

: small enough to be carried onto an airplane by a passenger

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More from Merriam-Webster on carry-on

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for carry-on

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with carry-on

Britannica English: Translation of carry-on for Arabic Speakers

Comments on carry-on

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having a smooth flowing sound

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