car·​ton | \ ˈkär-tᵊn How to pronounce carton (audio) \

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

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.
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Recent Examples on the Web: Noun While her dad was troubleshooting problems with employees and managers, young Tiffany would ride underneath the shopping cart with a doughnut or carton of chocolate milk in hand. Kathy Stephenson, The Salt Lake Tribune, "Can the DABC become a 21st-century business? Here’s how Utah’s new liquor boss aims to do it.," 2 Apr. 2021 Even when served in a carton, the entree looks impressive and tastes ambitious. Washington Post, "Twin bistros in Northern Virginia put a personal spin on Indian cooking," 5 Mar. 2021 Especially during Johnson’s teen years, money is so tight that Ata considers the purchase of a small carton of half-and-half a splurge. Jen Chaney, Vulture, "Portrait of the Rock As a Young Man," 16 Feb. 2021 Petersson continues to sing, as the camera pans to a carton and glass of Oatly milk expertly placed on the keyboard. Danielle Campoamor,, "We Need To Talk About That Oatly Super Bowl Commercial," 8 Feb. 2021 The cute milk carton design injects a layer of humor into the painful business of being separated from a loved one. Tessa Bahoosh, USA TODAY, "20 incredible Valentine's Day cards to send to your loved ones," 27 Jan. 2021 Most sidewalk chalk purchases cost between $10 and $20, offering an assortment of colors and often a bucket or carton for storage. Anthony Marcusa,, "The best sidewalk chalk," 23 Dec. 2020 Place the instructed number of each product inside the bag — four pears, two carrots, two onions, a bunch of bananas, a carton of eggs and so on. Heather Knight,, "With hunger rising in S.F., food pantries desperate for volunteers to feed the needy," 31 Oct. 2020 Bouncy Eggs Find an empty egg carton, fill it with a dozen bouncy eggs ($3 each), sneak it into the refrigerator, and then on Christmas morning—making sure your beloved is watching—pull it out of the fridge and perform a comical pratfall. Helen Rosner, The New Yorker, "Just Buy Your Loved Ones Eleven Feet of Salami: A Food-Themed Gift Guide," 19 Dec. 2020 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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Last Updated

6 Apr 2021

Cite this Entry

“Carton.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 13 Apr. 2021.

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


car·​ton | \ ˈkär-tᵊn How to pronounce carton (audio) \

Kids Definition of carton

: a cardboard container

More from Merriam-Webster on carton

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for carton

Nglish: Translation of carton for Spanish Speakers

Comments on carton

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