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 That the Republicans would carry on with their objections, after all that, stunned Democratic colleagues. Lisa Mascaro, ajc, 6 Jan. 2022 That the Republicans would carry on with their objections, after all that, stunned Democratic colleagues. Lisa Mascaro, Anchorage Daily News, 6 Jan. 2022 How the burgeoning franchise will carry on after losing its title character is the movie’s most searingly compelling secret. Melissa Ruggieri, USA TODAY, 4 Jan. 2022 Sandals Royal Curaçao will carry on the brand’s reputation as an authority in romance with three oceanfront wedding venues. Debbi Kickham, Forbes, 23 Dec. 2021 While tonight will mark the final time a Solomon brother will snap on a dazzling gold helmet for Shiloh Christian, their legacy will carry on for years to come as players who scoffed at being undersized and made their mark on the field in a big way. Chip Souza, Arkansas Online, 11 Dec. 2021 Two children are grown and gone to New York; their parents long for their return and wonder who will carry on. Dominique Browning, WSJ, 17 Sep. 2021 About 50 productions with more than 300 artists will carry on its tradition of spotlighting experimental work and up-and-coming artists. Domenica Bongiovanni, The Indianapolis Star, 18 Aug. 2021 Debicki and West are replacing Emma Corrin and Josh O’Connor, and the show will carry on for two more seasons with its new cast. Jackson Mchenry, Vulture, 17 Aug. 2021

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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Dictionary Entries Near carry-on

carry off


carry on

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Statistics for carry-on

Cite this Entry

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

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More Definitions for carry-on



English Language Learners Definition of carry-on

 (Entry 1 of 2)

: a small piece of luggage that a passenger can carry onto an airplane
: 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

More from Merriam-Webster on carry-on

Britannica English: Translation of carry-on for Arabic Speakers


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