Definition of carat in English:

Share this entry


Pronunciation: /ˈkarət/


1 (US karat) A measure of the purity of gold, pure gold being 24 carats: 22-carat gold
More example sentences
  • For gold, high karats mean intense color but less durability.
  • Ninety percent of the store's offerings are gilded in 22 to 23 karats or 12-karat white gold, according to Carroll.
  • Dubbed, ‘the man with the golden flute’, because of well, his fourteen karat gold flute encrusted with diamonds, Sir James Galway has a storied musical career.
2A unit of weight for precious stones and pearls, equivalent to 200 milligrams: a half-carat diamond ring
More example sentences
  • Within the gem trade, however, especially among those who deal with diamonds, it is one of the ever-cute 4 Cs: color, clarity, cut, and carats, or carat weight.
  • However, one does not need to be an expert on the Hope Diamond to know that its correct weight is 45.52 carats, a weight that has been accurately reported in reputable scholarly publications for most of the latter half of the last century.
  • They have finally finished their masterpiece: a necklace that is made up of diamonds with a total weight of 2800 carats!


Late Middle English: from French, from Italian carato, from Arabic qīrāṭ (a unit of weight), from Greek keration 'fruit of the carob' (also denoting a unit of weight), diminutive of keras 'horn', with reference to the elongated seed pod of the carob.

  • This measure of the purity of gold and a unit of weight for precious stones comes via French from Italian carato, from Arabi kīrāţ, a unit of weight. The base is Greek keration used for both a carob seed and a unit of weight but literally ‘little horn’ describing the carob's elongated seedpod.

Words that rhyme with carat

carrot, claret, garret, karat, parrot

For editors and proofreaders

Line breaks: carat

Share this entry

What do you find interesting about this word or phrase?

Comments that don't adhere to our Community Guidelines may be moderated or removed.