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 For an easy indulgent dinner, carry on in the path of least resistance, and serve with ice-cold lime margaritas and a platter of nachos. Beth Segal, cleveland, 23 July 2021 After the Sunday service, members carry on a long-standing tradition of gathering for a meal and talking for hours because there is a lot to learn about each other. Maisie Sparks, The Christian Science Monitor, 19 July 2021 Now this Twin Cities all-star band, masters of funk, R&B and all things soulful, will carry on at their home base, showing why they've been admired by Prince, Bonnie Raitt and anyone who loves to groove. Star Tribune, 8 July 2021 In the rare instance of a breakthrough infection, as apparently was the case with the Phoenix Suns’ Chris Paul, the rest of the team can carry on. Mike Finger, San Antonio Express-News, 26 June 2021 And protesters are steadily growing more sophisticated: one coalition has compiled a list of the banks that fund Enbridge, so the campaign can carry on in the canyons of Wall Street as well as in the marshes of Minnesota. Bill Mckibben, The New Yorker, 16 June 2021 Fieber led expansion toward neighborhoods that can be serviced from nearby distribution centers and new chief executive Lagunionek, who is a member of Lidl's international board, will carry on the work. Mark Faithfull, Forbes, 6 July 2021 The Civil War/veterans, Underground Railroad and Contraband Camp will carry on to phase 4 along with the Ccotton Walk, Quapaw/Heckaton Memorial and steamboat narrative. Eplunus Colvin, Arkansas Online, 3 July 2021 The upcoming season will carry on the company’s mission to expand its offerings to people from all walks of life and in all corners of the county. San Diego Union-Tribune, 27 June 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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Buying Guide

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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 28 Jul. 2021.

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More Definitions for carry-on



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

More from Merriam-Webster on carry-on

Britannica English: Translation of carry-on for Arabic Speakers


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