Date: 1300-1400
Language: Old North French
Origin: carier 'to take in a vehicle', from car 'vehicle', from Latin carrus; CAR


1 verb
car‧ry1 S1 W1 past tense and past participle carried, present participle carrying, third person singular carries

lift and take

[transitive] to hold something in your hand or arms, or support it as you take it somewhere:
Gina was carrying a small bunch of flowers.
Angela carried the child in her arms.
Let me carry that for you.
Jack carried his grandson up the stairs.
carry something to something/somebody
The waiter carried our drinks to the table.


[transitive] to take people or things from one place to another in a vehicle, ship, or plane:
The ship was carrying drugs.
There are more airplanes carrying more people than ever before.

pipe/wire etc

[transitive] if a pipe, wire etc carries something such as liquid or electricity, the liquid, electricity etc flows or travels along it:
A drain carries surplus water to the river.
The aim is for one wire to carry both television and telephone calls.

move something

[transitive] to cause something to move along or support something as it moves along:
This stretch of water carries a lot of shipping.
The bridge carries the main road over the railway.
Pollution was carried inland by the wind.

have with you

[transitive] to have something with you in your pocket, on your belt, in your bag etc everywhere you go:
I don't carry a handbag. I just carry money in my pocket.
All the soldiers carried rifles.
He says he's got to carry a knife to protect himself.

have a quality

[transitive] to have something as a particular quality:
Degree qualifications carry international recognition.
Few medical procedures carry no risk of any kind.
Older managers carry more authority in a crisis.
The plan is not likely to carry much weight with (=have much influence over) the authorities.
If the child believes in what she is saying, she will carry conviction (=make others believe what she says is true).


[transitive]TCN if a newspaper, a television or radio broadcast, or a website carries a piece of news, an advertisement etc, it prints it or broadcasts it:
The morning paper carried a story about demonstrations in New York and Washington D.C.
The national TV network carries religious programmes.


[transitive] if something carries information, the information is written on it:
All tobacco products must carry a health warning.
goods carrying the label 'Made in the USA'

be responsible

[transitive] to be responsible for doing something:
Each team member is expected to carry a fair share of the workload.
Which minister carries responsibility for the police?
Parents carry the burden of ensuring that children go to school.


[transitive] if a shop carries goods, it has a supply of them for sale:
The sports shop carries a full range of equipment.


[transitive] if a wall etc carries something, it supports the weight of that thing:
These two columns carry the whole roof.

take somebody/something

[transitive] to take something or someone to a new place, point, or position
carry somebody/something to something
The president wanted to carry the war to the northern states.
Blair carried his party to victory in 1997.
carry somebody/something into something
Clinton carried his campaign into Republican areas.


[transitive]MI if a person, animal, or insect carries a disease, they can pass it to other people or animals even if they are not ill themselves [↪ carrier]:
The disease is carried by a black fly which lives in the rivers.
Birds and monkeys can carry disease.

carry insurance/a guarantee etc

to have insurance etc:
All our products carry a 12-month guarantee.

be/get carried away

to be so excited, angry, interested etc that you are no longer really in control of what you do or say, or you forget everything else:
It's easy to get carried away when you can do so much with the graphics software.

be carried along (by something)

to become excited about something or determined to do something:
The crowd were carried along on a tide of enthusiasm.
You can be carried along by the atmosphere of an auction and spend more than you planned.


[transitive] if a crime carries a particular punishment, that is the usual punishment for the crime:
Drink-driving should carry an automatic prison sentence.
Murder still carries the death penalty.


[intransitive] if a sound carries, it goes a long way:
In the winter air, sounds carry clearly.
The songs of the whales carry through the water over long distances.


[intransitive] if a ball carries a particular distance when it is thrown, hit, or kicked, it travels that distance

carry something in your head/mind

to remember information that you need, without writing it down:
Alice carried a map of the London Underground in her head.


[transitive] to sing a tune using the correct notes:
I sang solos when I was six because I could carry a tune.
The highest voice carries the melody.


[transitive] to persuade a group of people to support you:
He had to carry a large majority of his colleagues to get the leadership.
Her appeal to common sense was what finally carried the day (=persuaded people to support her).


be carried

if a suggestion, proposal etc is carried, most of the people at an official meeting vote for it and it is accepted:
The amendment was carried by 292 votes to 246.
The resolution was carried unanimously (=everyone agreed).
Those in favour of the motion raise your arm. Those against? The motion is carried (=proposal is accepted).


[transitive] American English if someone carries a state or local area in a US election, they win in that state or area:
Cuban Americans play an important role in whether he carries Florida in the fall campaign.

your body

[transitive always + adverb/preposition] to stand and move in a particular way, or to hold part of your body in a particular way:
He had a way of carrying his head on one side.
carry yourself
She carried herself straight and with confidence.

carry the can (for somebody/something)

British English informal to be the person who has to take the blame for something even if it was not their fault, or not their fault alone:
He has been left to carry the can for a decision he didn't make.

not enough effort

[transitive] if a group carries someone who is not doing enough work, they have to manage without the work that person should be doing:
The team can't afford to carry any weak players.


[intransitive and transitive] old-fashioned if a woman is carrying a child, she is pregnant

carry all/everything before you

literary to be completely successful in a struggle against other people

carry something too far/to extremes/to excess

to do or say too much about something:
I don't mind a joke, but this is carrying it too far.


[transitive] to weigh a particular amount more than you should or than you did:
Joe carries only nine pounds more than when he was twenty.

carry a torch for somebody

to love someone romantically who does not love you:
He's been carrying a torch for your sister for years.

carry the torch of something

to support an important belief or tradition when other people do not:
Leaders in the mountains carried the torch of Greek independence.

as fast as his/her legs could carry him/her

as fast as possible:
She ran as fast as her legs could carry her.

adding numbers

[transitive] to put a number into the next row to the left when you are adding numbers together

carry something ↔ forward

phrasal verb
1 to succeed in making progress with something:
The new team have to carry the work forward.
2 to include an amount of money in a later set of figures or calculations

carry something ↔ off

phrasal verb
1 to do something difficult successfully:
I was flattered to be offered the job but wasn't sure if I could carry it off.
2 to win a prize:
a film that carried off three Oscars

carry on

phrasal verb
1 especially British English to continue doing something:
Sorry, I interrupted you. Please carry on.
carry on doing something
You'll have an accident if you carry on driving like that.
carry on with
I want to carry on with my course.
2 to continue moving:
He stopped and looked back, then carried on down the stairs.
Carry straight on until you get to the traffic lights.

carry on something

if you carry on a particular kind of work or activity, you do it or take part in it:
Mr Dean carried on his baking business until he retired.
It was so noisy it was hard to carry on a conversation.
4 spoken to talk in an annoying way
carry on about
I wish everyone would stop carrying on about it.
5 old-fashioned to have a sexual relationship with someone, when you should not:
Lucy confessed to carrying on behind her husband's back.
carry on with
She was carrying on with a neighbour.

carry something ↔ out

phrasal verb
1 to do something that needs to be organized and planned:
We need to carry out more research.
A survey is now being carried out nationwide.
Turn off the water supply before carrying out repairs.
2 to do something that you have said you will do or that someone has asked you to do:
Nicholson didn't carry out his threat to take legal action.
We carried out her instructions precisely.
Will the government carry out its promise to reform the law?

carry something ↔ over

phrasal verb
1 if something is carried over into a new situation, it continues to exist in the new situation:
The pain and violence of his childhood were carried over into his marriage.
2 to make an official arrangement to do something or use something at a later time:
Up to five days' holiday can be carried over from one year to the next.

carry somebody/something through

phrasal verb
1 to complete or finish something successfully, in spite of difficulties:
I'm determined to carry this through.

carry somebody through (something)

to help someone to manage during an illness or a difficult period:
Her confidence carried her through.