Definition of carry in English:

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Pronunciation: /ˈkerē/

verb (carries, carrying, carried)

[with object]
1Support and move (someone or something) from one place to another: medics were carrying a wounded man on a stretcher
More example sentences
  • The two wounded demonstrators were carried by people near them to nearby houses.
  • I have a false leg now but it takes me a while to move around and carrying things is difficult.
  • Sure enough, there was a white moving van and people carrying boxes to the house.
convey, transfer, move, take, bring, bear, lug, tote, fetch, cart
1.1Transport, conduct, or transmit: the train service carries 20,000 passengers daily nerves carry visual information from the eyes
More example sentences
  • With its low-slung frame, the truck can be carried aboard military transport planes and deployed anywhere in the world.
  • Tragedy struck when the transport ship carrying the 33 children crashed.
  • Several lorries would be required to carry the mail which is now carried in one train.
transport, convey, move, handle
transmit, conduct, relay, communicate, convey, dispatch, beam
1.2Have on one’s person and take with one wherever one goes: the money he was carrying was not enough to pay the fine figurative she had carried the secret all her life
More example sentences
  • As if that's not enough to bring the whole party down, one of the politicians also carries a terrible medical secret.
  • They are stubborn enough to carry their grudges a long time.
  • The deeply spiritual actress makes no secret of the fact that wherever she goes she carries a small, gold amulet - a gift from her Guru in Malaysia and a potent symbol of his protection.
1.3Be infected with (a disease) and liable to transmit it to others: ticks can carry Lyme disease
More example sentences
  • The problem also has serious implications for all who use the Scottish hills, including walkers and climbers, since some ticks carry the dangerous Lyme disease.
  • Scientists say that one in every three ticks carries Lyme disease, so a decrease in tick numbers could have a significant effect on reducing the illness in humans.
  • One of every five people carry a sexually transmitted disease in the United States.
2Support the weight of: the bridge is capable of carrying even the heaviest loads
More example sentences
  • It has long meant a story told in a hundred words: a structure as light and strong as a balloon that can carry its own weight a thousand times over.
  • The entire body weight is thus carried by the thumbs and the big toe, even as the bones of the rest of the body are cracking with pain.
  • For those with osteo-arthiritis, she suggests swimming and water exercises, because in the water one does not have to carry one's body weight.
support, sustain, stand;
prop up, shore up, bolster
2.1Be pregnant with: she was carrying twins
More example sentences
  • But first lets get an update on our baby twins who were carried by a surrogate.
  • I was carrying a bigger baby than in my previous pregnancies.
  • He is a good friend of the couple and is the father of the twins the woman is carrying by in vitro fertilization.
be pregnant with, bear, expect
technical be gravid with
2.2 (carry oneself) Stand and move in a specified way: she carried herself straight and with assurance
More example sentences
  • Never arrogant or boastful, they stand their ground and carry themselves with authority.
  • When we lose our humor, our whole demeanor changes - our tone of voice, how we move and carry ourselves, our facial expressions.
  • Their attractiveness lies not so much in their appearance as in the way they carry themselves and behave.
conduct, bear, hold;
act, behave, acquit
formal comport
2.3Assume or accept (responsibility or blame): they must carry the responsibility for the mess they have gotten the company into
More example sentences
  • Well the newspaper must carry some responsibility here.
  • No faith can be defined by its fringes, but every faith must carry some responsibility for its extremists.
  • The Government must carry the blame for big council tax increases.
bear, accept, assume, undertake, shoulder, take on (oneself)
2.4Be responsible for the effectiveness or success of: they relied on dialogue to carry the plot
More example sentences
  • Unfortunately the mystery is not suspenseful or for that matter interesting enough to carry the plot on it's own.
  • The fans help carry the game.
  • Unfortunately none of the other characters were funny enough to carry the show.
3Have as a feature or consequence: being a combat sport, karate carries with it the risk of injury each bike carries a ten-year guarantee
More example sentences
  • The former lord chancellor notes that the bill carries with it the worst of unintended consequences.
  • Thus, the experience of being rejected by peers carries with it a set of experiences and consequences that contribute to subsequent conduct problems.
  • The process carries with it ethical implications - for example, loss of researchers' time and impairments in the quality of data collected.
entail, involve, result in, occasion, have as a consequence
4 [no object] (Of a sound, ball, missile, etc.) reach a certain point: his voice carried clearly across the room the balls seem to carry well in that ballpark
More example sentences
  • The sound of voices carried to them from the eastern side of the island.
  • In the silence and still air sound carries surprisingly clearly.
  • He could hear the sound of voices carrying from the inside of the room.
be audible, travel, reach
4.1(Of a gun or similar weapon) propel (a missile) to a specified distance.
4.2 Golf Hit the ball over and beyond (a particular point).
Example sentences
  • Vardon made the eighth hole, 310 yards, once in four strokes, and every time he carried the bunker on his second shot with a cleek or driving iron.
  • I thought I needed a par to win and I thought I had carried the bunker on the last.
  • It carried the water by 25 yards, but it landed in the only spot where it shouldn't have.
4.3Take or develop (an idea or activity) to a specified point: he carried the criticism much further
More example sentences
  • His most influential interpreter carried his ideas further, even to the justification of regicide.
  • Do you want this development to be carried forward in a people-friendly and environmentally sound manner?
  • The first person to really carry forward his ideas was Philippe de la Hire.
5Approve (a proposed measure) by a majority of votes: the resolution was carried by a two-to-one majority
More example sentences
  • The decision was bitterly controversial and was carried by Republican Party majorities alone.
  • The substantive motion was then voted on, and carried by a massive majority.
  • If member states had agreed that the treaty could be carried by a majority vote, that would be one thing.
approve, vote for, accept, endorse, ratify, pass;
agree to, assent to, rubber-stamp
informal OK, give the thumbs up to
5.1Persuade (colleagues or followers) to support one’s policy: he could not carry the cabinet
More example sentences
  • No candidate has won the popular vote without carrying Roman Catholics.
  • It is impossible to conjecture what might have happened, had the Governor-General failed to carry the electorate with him at this crisis.
  • He was doing everything right. Yet he lost, failing even to carry the voters who elected him twice as mayor.
win over, sway, convince, persuade, influence;
motivate, stimulate
5.2North American Gain (a state or district) in an election.
Example sentences
  • It won't help the president carry the state in the general election.
  • He was the first nonincumbent Republican presidential candidate to carry the state since 1928.
  • A lot of people don't believe your candidate can win this election without carrying Florida.
6(Of a newspaper or a television or radio station) publish or broadcast: the paper carried a detailed account of the current crisis
More example sentences
  • The new deal ensures that commentary from every league and cup match can be carried by the station.
  • I'll see whether any of the mainstream newspapers have carried a more detailed report.
  • Each of the five stations will carry BBC World Service's news, science, music and cultural programmes.
publish, print, communicate, distribute;
broadcast, transmit
6.1(Of a retail outlet) keep a regular stock of (particular goods for sale): this store no longer carries phonograph equipment
More example sentences
  • Online bridal stores also carry the latest styles with the most competitive and reasonable prices.
  • The shop carries four exclusive cosmetic ranges.
  • All of these stores carry everything you could need in organic produce and groceries.
sell, stock, keep, keep in stock, offer, have, have for sale, retail, supply
6.2Have visible on the surface: the product does not carry the “UL” symbol
More example sentences
  • Private hire vehicles are now required to carry new, more visible licence plates on the rear of the vehicle, near and offside front doors and front and rear windscreens.
  • Wine labels will also start carrying more information, especially in the U.S.
  • United Artists, which would finance and distribute the film, required that all its features carry the Code seal.
6.3Be known by (a name): some products carry the same names as overseas beers
More example sentences
  • But for any product carrying the Perry's brand name, the mix is vat pasteurized.
  • The trains, which all carry the name Thameslink Cityflier, were expected to offer a full service by today.
  • It was introduced because we identified a consumer need for a low-carbohydrate and low calorie beer that still has a taste refined enough to carry the Michelob family name.
display, bear, exhibit, show, be marked with
7Transfer (a figure) to an adjacent column during an arithmetical operation (e.g., when a column of digits adds up to more than ten).
Example sentences
  • If ever you get a sum bigger than 10, then write down the units digit of the sum and remember to carry anything over into your next pair to add.
  • Then, like a line of dominoes, the nines turn into zeros as we carry one back and back.
  • Write down the last digit and carry the other digit, if any, working right-to-left.

noun (plural carries)

[usually in singular]
1An act of lifting and transporting something from one place to another: we did a carry of equipment from the camp
More example sentences
  • ‘You're kidding,’ I said, my arms still aching from the short carry from the cab to this desk.
  • We are fully moved in to our 11,000-foot camp and just did a back carry down to 10.3 where we put that cache in a few days back.
  • After the load carry, the group returned to Opentac ABC.
1.1 American Football An act of running with the ball from scrimmage.
Example sentences
  • And the running game struggled again as the two running backs averaged 2.8 yards a carry.
  • He led the NFL with 403 carries last year, a pace that will eventually burn him out.
  • He is a confident individual that only fumbled the ball three times over 233 carries in 2001.
1.2North American The action of keeping something, especially a gun, on one’s person: this pistol is the right choice for on-duty or off-duty carry
More example sentences
  • It soon passed the demanding standards to allow NYPD to approve it for off duty carry.
  • It is a good size for on duty carry.
  • I have thought that it is a very nice looking gun, and it has features I am looking for in a concealed carry weapon.
1.3North American historical A place or route between navigable waters over which boats or supplies had to be carried.
1.4The transfer of a figure into an adjacent column (or the equivalent part of a computer memory) during an arithmetical operation.
1.5 Finance The maintenance of an investment position in a securities market, especially with regard to the costs or profits accruing.
Example sentences
  • Once there was a threat that the carry was going to disappear, everything got pummeled, including gold.
  • If financing costs rise, or if the five-year note goes down in price, the carry can be wiped out.
  • Only when, and if the collapse of the carry transpires will the curve bears be vindicated.
2(In golf) the distance a ball travels before reaching the ground.
Example sentences
  • Now, manufacturers believe that high flight with low spin provides the most carry and the most overall distance.
  • But with vertical-seam hits, the carry went up to almost 259 yards, an increase of nearly six yards.
  • My longest drive registered a carry of 258 yards and had rolled another 25.
2.1The range of a gun or similar weapon.
2.2(In golf) the distance a ball must travel to reach a certain destination.
Example sentences
  • The carry at the 10th, for example, is more than 250 yards.
  • I only just made the carry with a slightly thin shot.
  • There was a pond in front of the green, but Lane thrashed at it, made the carry and as a real bonus sank a 25-foot birdie putt.



carry conviction

Be convincing.
Example sentences
  • This is of course one of those guesses which carries conviction if said in a loud enough voice: nobody really knows.
  • In my opinion, these claims no longer carry conviction.
  • If his picture was to carry conviction, it had to express genuine experience.

carry the day

Be victorious or successful.
Example sentences
  • For the winners, it was a case of team spirit, skill and determination carrying the day.
  • I'd truly hate to see my argument carry the day in court, because it would knock the U.S. out of the trade-agreement business, possibly for a long time.
  • In the United Kingdom, such objections would carry the day.

carry weight

Be influential or important: the report is expected to carry considerable weight with the administration
More example sentences
  • Citizens throughout the region will increasingly demand that their votes carry weight, and that elected representatives be given real authority.
  • India's words will carry weight, its actions will move mountains.
  • They carry weight because of their experience, and the expectation that they speak with the voice of disinterested patriotism.

Phrasal verbs


be/get carried away

Lose self-control: I got a bit carried away when describing the final game
More example sentences
  • Look, I know I'm getting carried away, but it does the soul good to get carried away occasionally.
  • In the rush to buy a property, it's easy to get carried away with a rising market and lose sight of financial reality.
  • The coach believes his team were carried away with the atmosphere.
lose self-control, get overexcited, go too far
informal flip, lose it

carry something away

Nautical Lose (a mast or other part of a ship) through breakage.
Example sentences
  • The bowsprit carried the mast away.
  • Sails were blown away, the mainmast was sprung, and the mast was carried away and lost, with everything attached to it.
  • We were just beginning to congratulate ourselves on a successful launch, when there was a huge crack, and the mast was carried away overboard!

carry something forward

Transfer figures to a new page or account.
Example sentences
  • When no more room remained on a page in the account book, the account would be carried forward to an available page in that or a subsequent book.
  • The outstanding deficits were carried forward from year to year and not written off and absorbed into Treasury finances.
  • The subtotals are carried forward both at the end of each page in the book and at the end of each monthly entry (of income or expenditure).
3.1Keep something to use or deal with at a later time: we carried forward a reserve, which allowed us to meet demands

carry someone/something off

Take someone or something away by force: bandits carried off his mule
More example sentences
  • Not one to take no for an answer, he gathered together a group of friends, forced his way in and carried Isabel off in triumph.
  • I received word that he carried her off to Avignon, and plans to force her into marriage.
  • But Mitchell did not kill the bear before his hog could be carried off because it happened on a Sunday.
4.1(Of a disease) kill someone: Parkinson’s disease carried him off in September
More example sentences
  • We can do very little about diseases which might carry us off but road deaths are preventable, and while drunk drivers may be one of the biggest hazards on our roads, speeders are an even bigger peril.
  • By this time he was already suffering from the spinal disease that carried him off prematurely two years later.
  • We don't have to worry about diseases like typhoid carrying them off or their losing limbs as they work around heavy machinery every day on long shifts.

carry something off

Win a prize: she failed to carry off the gold medal
More example sentences
  • In 1986 Chadwick was one of the first women shortlisted for the Turner Prize, but failed to carry it off.
  • This did him a lot of good and he is quick to point out that the prize has very effectively promoted Scottish art: Douglas Gordon carried it off in 1996 and Christine Borland was nominated in 1997.
  • The student of the year was Ciaran Sutton, Arts student of the year was Gavin Elsted and the science award was carried off by Patrick Graham.
5.1Succeed in doing something difficult: he could not have carried it off without government help
More example sentences
  • Note that I succeeded in carrying this feat off without falling over, whereas my wife has sufficient grace and elegance to not only look fabulous whilst dancing, but can also hold a large gin and tonic without any spillage.
  • He couldn't find a musician he thought was capable of carrying it off, and he refused to compromise.
  • Some actors can play multiple characters, or personalities and carry them off admirably.

carry on

1Continue an activity or task: carry on with what you were doing
More example sentences
  • With progression of the disease certain adaptations will probably have to be made in order to carry on with day-to-day activities.
  • We will carry on with the task of building a modern, efficient and collegial university - regardless of irrational rantings.
  • The vast majority of people rush inside and carry on with their day's activities.
continue, keep (on), go on;
persist in, persevere in, stick with/at
1.1chiefly British Continue to move in the same direction: I knew I was going the wrong way, but I just carried on
More example sentences
  • I can safely say that this black dog paid no attention me and simply carried on in the direction it was travelling without even looking at the car.
  • The bike stopped dead but he carried on moving - flying through the air.
  • On reaching the pedestrian area three dismounted and one carried on regardless making shoppers move out of her way.
2 informal Behave, especially speak, in an excited or bad-tempered way: she carries on about television programming
More example sentences
  • If this is how some people behave in public, Heaven only knows how they carry on in their own homes.
  • She's always laughing and carrying on and making a fool out of someone.
  • I really felt like shouting, ‘Don't encourage him - he will just do it more,’ but they did scream and he continued to carry on.
misbehave, behave badly, get up to mischief, cause trouble, get up to no good, be naughty;
clown around, fool around, mess around, act up
3 informal Be engaged in a love affair, typically one of which the speaker disapproves: she was carrying on with young Adam
More example sentences
  • I thought it was disrespectful to Madeline who would have disapproved of him carrying on with another woman and worse - not being ashamed of it.
  • He was banished from TV for life for carrying on with a woman not his wife.
  • She was also secure enough in her sexuality by the age of 13 to be carrying on with her schoolteacher's wife.
have an affair, commit adultery, have a fling, play around, mess around, fool around

carry something on

Engage in an activity: he could not carry on a logical conversation
More example sentences
  • Jesus was not opposed to capitalism and the profit motive, so long as economic activities were carried on outside the temple.
  • In the case of such companies the place where these activities are carried on can be seen in fact to be the geographical source of the profits these activities yield.
  • With no economies of scale, all activity would be carried on in hamlets on a household scale to minimize transportation costs.
engage in, conduct, undertake, be involved in, carry out, perform

carry something out

Perform a task or planned operation: we’re carrying out a market-research survey
More example sentences
  • We were there to do an important task and to carry it out to the best of our ability with the equipment we had.
  • It is a difficult job and only trained and experienced individuals can effectively carry it out.
  • One thousand telephone surveys have been carried out by an independent market research company as well as getting feedback and comments from local people.
conduct, perform, implement, execute
fulfill, carry through, honor, redeem, make good;
keep, observe, abide by, comply with, adhere to, stick to, keep faith with

carry over

Extend beyond the normal or original area of application: his artistic practice is clearly carrying over into his social thought
More example sentences
  • That ability to conquer challenges carries over into other areas of life as well.
  • That practice carries over into some modern secret society initiations, where participants are hooded or masked to conceal their identities.
  • The better I play, the more it will carry over to the World Cup.

carry something over

Retain something and apply or deal with it in a new context: much of the wartime economic planning was carried over into the next decade
More example sentences
  • The practice was possibly carried over from a similar arrangement in Massachusetts.
  • During his presidency, Federalists lit bonfires and held balls in his honor, carrying over earlier British practices of honoring the birthday of the sovereign.
  • The young can't write business email because they are carrying over the style they developed in text messaging and personal email.
10.1Postpone an event: the match had to be carried over till Sunday
More example sentences
  • Another first is a rule, introduced for the 109th running of this event countrywide, that no match will be carried over two days, which means, that whoever is leading if rain calls a halt to proceedings will be declared the winner.
  • The match had to be carried over because the deadline had elapsed.
  • The matches went on till as late as 10 p.m. on Saturday and even then the A division final had to be carried over to the next day
another way of saying carry something forward.
Example sentences
  • But that is not the case: in fact prices for most models have been carried over from the present models.
  • A grant received for the parish plan will be carried over to the next financial year.
  • If there is no winner, the money is carried over to the following week.

carry something through

Bring a project to completion: policy blueprints are rarely carried through perfectly
More example sentences
  • Since this is a once-off project, it is vital that it is carried through as completely as possible with the full co-operation of all.
  • Although several individuals had been keen to buy the house, their plans always foundered when he questioned whether they had the financial resources to carry the project through.
  • So coming from a man who's made good ideas into good business, what does it take to carry a bright idea through to completion?
11.1Bring something safely out of difficulties: he was the only person who could carry the country through
More example sentences
  • Despite the company's current difficulties it's their marketing focus that will carry them through, he said.
  • An unprecedented boom followed American independence, and with periodic fluctuations it carried the new nation through the first half of the next century.
  • Though the plot has the unmistakable ring of familiarity, strong acting and directing carry the film through occasional missteps.


Late Middle English: from Anglo-Norman French and Old Northern French carier, based on Latin carrus 'wheeled vehicle'.

  • car from Late Middle English:

    The earliest recorded uses of car, dating probably from the 14th century, referred to wheeled vehicles such as carts or wagons. The word came into English from Old French carre, based on Latin carrus ‘two-wheeled vehicle’, the source of words such as career, cargo (mid 17th century), carriage (Late Middle English), carry (Late Middle English), charge (Middle English), and chariot (Late Middle English). From the 16th to the 19th centuries car was mainly used in poetic or literary contexts to suggest a sense of splendour and solemnity. Alfred Lord Tennyson (1809–1892) used it to describe the funeral carriage bearing the body of the Duke of Wellington (1769–1852) at his state funeral: ‘And a reverent people behold / The towering car, the sable steeds’ (‘Ode on the Death of the Duke of Wellington’, 1852). The first self-propelled road vehicle was a steam-driven carriage designed and built in France in 1769, but such vehicles were not called cars until the 1890s.

Words that rhyme with carry

Barry, Carrie, Cary, Clarrie, Gary, glengarry, harry, intermarry, lari, Larry, marry, miscarry, parry, tarry

For editors and proofreaders

Syllabification: car·ry

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