car·​ton | \ ˈkär-tᵊn \

Definition of carton

 (Entry 1 of 2)

: a box or container usually made of cardboard and often of corrugated cardboard several cartons of books


cartoned; cartoning; cartons

Definition of carton (Entry 2 of 2)

transitive verb

: to pack or enclose in a carton

intransitive verb

: to shape cartons from cardboard sheets

Examples of carton in a Sentence


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.
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Recent Examples on the Web: Noun

There were cartons of ornaments that needed to be severely curated down to a handful of keepers. Al Kemp, The Seattle Times, "How I came to grips with a downsized Christmas," 12 Dec. 2018 For Publix and Sunups egg cartons, the plant number is P-1359D and the Julian date is 048A or 049A with best by dates of APR 02 and APR 03. Shari Rudavsky, Indianapolis Star, "10 things you need to know now about salmonella and Indiana eggs," 14 May 2018 Boxed stock goes bad about a week after opening and typically comes in a 32 oz. shelf-stable carton. Alyse Whitney, Bon Appetit, "What Tastes Better: Boxed Stock or Better Than Bouillon?," 29 Jan. 2018 On the mountain near where he was found, after time at a rehab center, the eagle emerged from the carton. Martin Weil, Washington Post, "A once-weakened bald eagle is released four days after the Fourth," 10 July 2018 Not at all the solitary ritual of eating ice cream straight from the carton in front of the television. Jeanmarie Brownson,, "When Eton mess gives you extra yolks, whip them up into ice cream," 10 July 2018 Clamoring over the reeking pile or staking out a patch of territory, the people pulled out small cartons of milk, soft drinks, rice, sweets and painkillers. Stephen Wright, The Seattle Times, "Indonesia disaster survivors search debris for food, drinks," 2 Oct. 2018 In one Radio Liberty report, guards described hours of flights using DJI drones dropping multiple cartons of contraband cigarettes. Joe Pappalardo, Popular Mechanics, "What’s With This Weird Drone Stuck in a Ukrainian Tree?," 6 Sep. 2018 Cash and several cartons of cigarettes were stolen. Lisa M. Bolton, Washington Post, "Prince William crime report," 20 June 2018

Recent Examples on the Web: Verb

Put that bottle down and grab a box, can or carton of wine for your cooler. Mary Orlin, The Mercury News, "Picnic perfect: The 11 best box or canned wines," 20 May 2017

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'carton.' 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 carton


1825, in the meaning defined above


1921, in the meaning defined at transitive sense

History and Etymology for carton


French, from Italian cartone pasteboard

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Statistics for carton

Last Updated

6 Jan 2019

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Time Traveler for carton

The first known use of carton was in 1825

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More Definitions for carton



English Language Learners Definition of carton

: a light box or container usually made of cardboard or plastic

: a box containing things that have been packed together so they can be sold or moved


car·​ton | \ ˈkär-tᵊn \

Kids Definition of carton

: a cardboard container

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More from Merriam-Webster on carton

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with carton

Spanish Central: Translation of carton

Nglish: Translation of carton for Spanish Speakers

Comments on carton

What made you want to look up carton? Please tell us where you read or heard it (including the quote, if possible).


tremendous in size, volume, or degree

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