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 The protesters used metal fences, cartons and bricks to block traffic in the Mongkok area in Kowloon., "HONG KONG — Pro-democracy protesters renewed pressure on the Hong Kong government Sunday with three separate marches, appealing to President Donald Trump for help and demanding that police stop using tear gas.," 2 Dec. 2019 Some protesters returned to the streets Saturday night, using metal fences, cartons and bricks to block traffic in the Mong Kok area in Kowloon. Eileen Ng,, "Young and old unite behind demands of Hong Kong demonstrators," 30 Nov. 2019 Lawrence didn’t sleep that night and urinated in an empty milk carton in order to prepare for a potential attack, the lawsuit says. Adam Ferrise,, "Cuyahoga County Jail officers attacked, threatened to kill inmate who interviewed with U.S. Marshals, lawsuit says," 16 Sep. 2019 One looked like some creature had torn into it, with empty cartons spilled out onto the pavement. Maria Cramer,, "It’s tradition: Students scrounging through leftovers on the street. But skip the mattresses," 1 Sep. 2019 In a video that went viral last week, a woman licked Blue Bell ice cream out of the carton and put it back on the shelf at a Texas location of a retail giant. Marcy De Luna, Houston Chronicle, "Blue Bell licker tracked down to Lufkin store, could face 20 years in prison, police say," 5 July 2019 Meanwhile, a thief entered and snatched up cigarette cartons stored under cabinets, Litwin said. Jesse Leavenworth,, "Robber loads up on cigarettes at East Hartford store," 2 Dec. 2019 To achieve the room-filling scent and signature taste-bud-assailing butter flavor of movie-theatre popcorn, cinemas use a product called Flavacol, a sandlike substance whose only resemblance to dairy is its paper-carton packaging. S. Whitney Holmes, The New Yorker, "Inside Popcorn’s Multisensory Appeal," 26 Nov. 2019 Can an egg carton be put into a Rumpke recycling bin? Sue Kiesewetter,, "Recycling explained at Saturday event in Fairfield," 14 Nov. 2019 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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Time Traveler for carton

Time Traveler

The first known use of carton was in 1825

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Statistics for carton

Last Updated

20 Jan 2020

Cite this Entry

“Carton.” The Dictionary, Merriam-Webster Inc., Accessed 23 January 2020.

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More Definitions for carton


How to pronounce carton (audio)

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

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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).


out of the ordinary or unreasonable

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