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 mode of transport matters, too—goods that are transported by aircraft are far dirtier than those carried on ships. The Economist, "The right way to measure carbon emissions," 19 Oct. 2019 All three running backs carried on the team’s opening scoring drive, a preview of the multiheaded approach offensive coordinator Greg Roman will likely use. Childs Walker,, "Scouting report for Sunday’s Ravens-Cardinals game," 12 Sep. 2019 An American flag carried on Apollo 11 sold for $275,000. Anne Saker,, "Get your bids ready: Fourth auction of Neil Armstrong's belongings begins Oct. 25," 5 July 2019 The protests continue, but Hong Kong Exchanges and Clearing (HKEX) is keeping calm and carrying on. The Economist, "Hong Kong’s bourse seeks to snap up the London Stock Exchange," 12 Sep. 2019 With that respect, that comes into the locker room and then carries on. Kyle Fredrickson, The Denver Post, "How Broncos’ Phillip Lindsay can grow after breakout rookie season: “My mindset is grind”," 9 Sep. 2019 Myers displayed his rushing capabilities as well, earning 11.8 yards per carry on four attempts. Si Wire,, "Buffalo vs. Penn State Live Stream: Watch Online, TV Channel, Start Time," 7 Sep. 2019 America would still have had enough manpower to carry on training the Afghan army and giving it air support. The Economist, "America will have to resume negotiations with the Taliban eventually," 14 Sep. 2019 Civil lawsuits related to the shooting carried on for three years. San Diego Union-Tribune, "Jeff Davis retiring after nearly 35 years with the El Cajon Police Department," 12 Sep. 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 21 November 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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