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

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 As world leaders and diplomats scramble, shuffling between Washington, Moscow and Ukraine’s capital, Kyiv, to avert a war that all agree could be catastrophic, the people living in the maelstrom are trying essentially to keep calm and carry on. New York Times, 9 Feb. 2022 Hardy has spent these odds times much like most parents: clad in sweats trying to keep calm and carry on. Andrea Mandell, USA TODAY, 30 Sep. 2021 The Red Army may be long gone, but some legacy must carry on in the republics of the former USSR. Amy Kellogg, Fox News, 4 Apr. 2022 Even today, Brits like to draw on this myth to keep calm and carry on, which is often positive but can also, depending on your political view, be a form of apathy. Tom Mctague, The Atlantic, 8 Feb. 2022 Despite the dollar having already appreciated a lot recently, those betting on central-bank divergence may want to keep their cool and carry on. Jon Sindreu, WSJ, 4 Feb. 2022 This time around, U.S. diplomats won’t attend but U.S. athletes will compete, and NBC will carry on with its broadcast. Washington Post, 13 Jan. 2022 Traditionally, families -- especially those in rural areas -- viewed boys as more able to provide for the family, and carry on the family line -- driving a black market for infant boys, and pushing many families to give infant girls up for adoption. Cheryl Ho, CNN, 8 Dec. 2021 But there’s a problem: these non-GAAP metrics basically assume that capacity costs are zero and the company can carry on in its merry ways without making investments. Shivaram Rajgopal, Forbes, 13 Nov. 2021 See More

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.

First Known Use of carry-on


1890, in the meaning defined at sense 1


1967, in the meaning defined above


1638, in the meaning defined at transitive sense

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Time Traveler for carry-on

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The first known use of carry-on was in 1638

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Dictionary Entries Near carry-on

carry off


carry on

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Cite this Entry

“Carry-on.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 27 May. 2022.

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Britannica English: Translation of carry-on for Arabic Speakers


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