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car·​ton ˈkär-tᵊn How to pronounce carton (audio)
: a box or container usually made of cardboard and often of corrugated cardboard
several cartons of books


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cartoned; cartoning; cartons

transitive verb

: to pack or enclose in a carton

intransitive verb

: to shape cartons from cardboard sheets

Examples of carton in a Sentence

Noun She got a carton of ice cream out of the freezer. a carton of orange juice He bought a carton of cigarettes. Several cartons of books arrived yesterday.
Recent Examples on the Web
The law bans foam egg cartons, takeout containers, meat trays, coolers, ice chests, dock floats and mooring buoys. David Garrick, San Diego Union-Tribune, 6 Apr. 2024 The project exhibited 10-foot-tall milk cartons across Miami and Miami Beach that had photos and information about the hostages, emulating the tactic from the 80’s when photos of missing children were put on milk cartons. Alyssa Johnson, Miami Herald, 7 Mar. 2024 Gradually drain off and stir the fruit juice from the mug into the carton of yogurt, continuing until thoroughly blended. Nancy Baggett, Charlotte Observer, 31 Jan. 2024 One carton contains eight grams of protein from pea protein and chia seeds, along with eight grams of fat and 26 grams of carbohydrates, making this a well-rounded drink. Tamar Kane, Ms, Rd, Parents, 27 Mar. 2024 Our testers were excited to swap their usual bulky cartons for this savory space-saver, a just-add-water concentrate. Grace McCarty, SELF, 13 Mar. 2024 Nearly 1,500 cartons of cigarettes were stolen, police said. Tanasia Kenney, Miami Herald, 29 Feb. 2024 The eco bona fides are plain to see, from the waste-processing facilities to the cardboard cartons for drinking water. Ann Abel, Forbes, 28 Feb. 2024 Place the plant in the small plastic sandwich bag (violas or any other type of potted flower are great here), and put the plant into a carton lined with tissue paper. Southern Living Editors, Southern Living, 26 Feb. 2024
This basket has a little bit of everything: a sitting bunny, Easter bonbons, caramel bonbons, peeps, an Easter egg carton a chocolate duck and some lollipops. Sherrie Nachman, Forbes, 22 Mar. 2023

These examples are programmatically compiled from various online sources to illustrate current usage of the word 'carton.' Any opinions expressed in the examples do not represent those of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback about these examples.

Word History



French, from Italian cartone pasteboard

First Known Use


1825, in the meaning defined above


1921, in the meaning defined at transitive sense

Time Traveler
The first known use of carton was in 1825

Dictionary Entries Near carton

Cite this Entry

“Carton.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 20 Apr. 2024.

Kids Definition


: a paperboard box or container


from French carton "cardboard box," from Italian cartone "pasteboard," from carta "sheet of paper," from Latin charta "piece of papyrus" — related to card entry 3, cartoon

More from Merriam-Webster on carton

Last Updated: - Updated example sentences
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