car·​tridge | \ ˈkär-trij , dialectal ˈka-trij\

Definition of cartridge

: a case or container that holds a substance, device, or material which is difficult, troublesome, or awkward to handle and that usually can be easily changed: such as
a : a tube (as of metal) containing a complete charge for a firearm and usually an initiating device (such as a primer)
b : a case containing an explosive charge for blasting
c : an often cylindrical container for insertion into a larger mechanism or apparatus
e : a small case that contains a phonograph needle and transducer and is attached to a tonearm
f : a removable case containing a magnetic tape or one or more disks and used as a computer storage medium
g : a case for holding printed circuit chips containing a computer program a video-game cartridge

Examples of cartridge in a Sentence

The printer needs a new ink cartridge.

Recent Examples on the Web

The devices look like computer flash drives, can be recharged in computer USB ports and have prefilled cartridges containing nicotine. Mike Stobbe, The Seattle Times, "Juul halts store sales of some flavored e-cigarettes," 14 Nov. 2018 The coarse powder clung to the men’s damp skin like beach sand. Because soldiers tended to favor one side of their mouth for tearing open cartridges, men with half their mouth smeared with black powder—a grotesque carnival touch—was a common sight. Peter Cozzens, WSJ, "‘A Fierce Glory’ Review: Victory at a Very High Price," 21 Sep. 2018 Bombs hidden in printer cartridges and electronics that could sneak by scanners and dogs, non-metallic suicide vest, underwear bombs -- remember those? Fox News, "Trump lashes out at media in fiery attack," 30 Aug. 2018 Start by soaking a new cartridge in fresh water for five minutes, then rinse it for 60 seconds. Lauren Smith, Good Housekeeping, "How to Clean Your Keurig Coffee Maker the Right Way," 12 July 2018 Although e-cigarettes do not contain tobacco, the U.S. surgeon general has identified potentially toxic chemicals within the liquid cartridges, including benzene, nickel and lead. Ahmed Elbenni, Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, "Ban on e-cigarettes in Milwaukee takes effect -- what you need to know," 10 July 2018 Police said Kim was shot numerous times, and 10 spent cartridges were found on the shoulder of the interstate, across the lanes of traffic from the wall of an onramp where Hancock's silver sedan crashed head on., "Uber driver who fatally shot passenger tells police he was being attacked," 2 June 2018 Wash the mesh of the lower filter holder, insert the cartridge into the upper filter holder, and snap on the lid. Lauren Smith, Good Housekeeping, "How to Clean Your Keurig Coffee Maker the Right Way," 12 July 2018 In states where marijuana is legal, shoppers can buy cartridges of liquid containing THC, the chemical in marijuana that gets people high, that work with a number of devices. Carla K. Johnson, The Seattle Times, "2 million US teens are vaping marijuana," 17 Sep. 2018

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'cartridge.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

See More

First Known Use of cartridge

1626, in the meaning defined above

History and Etymology for cartridge

alteration of earlier cartage, modification of Middle French cartouche

Keep scrolling for more

Learn More about cartridge

Statistics for cartridge

Last Updated

8 Feb 2019

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for cartridge

The first known use of cartridge was in 1626

See more words from the same year

Keep scrolling for more

More Definitions for cartridge



English Language Learners Definition of cartridge

: a tube which you put into a gun and which contains a bullet and explosive material
: a case or container that you put into a machine to make it work


car·​tridge | \ ˈkär-trij \

Kids Definition of cartridge

1 : a case or shell containing gunpowder and shot or a bullet for use in a firearm
2 : a container that is inserted into a machine to make it work an ink cartridge

Keep scrolling for more

More from Merriam-Webster on cartridge

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with cartridge

Spanish Central: Translation of cartridge

Nglish: Translation of cartridge for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of cartridge for Arabic Speakers Encyclopedia article about cartridge

Comments on cartridge

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


marked by fawning attentiveness

Get Word of the Day daily email!

Test Your Vocabulary

What did you just call me?! A Quiz

  • rows-of-various-emoji
  • If a member of the audience describes your speech as bombastic, does that person mean it is:
How Strong Is Your Vocabulary?

Test your vocabulary with our 10-question quiz!


Test Your Knowledge - and learn some interesting things along the way.


Love words? Need even more definitions?

Subscribe to America's largest dictionary and get thousands more definitions and advanced search—ad free!