Definition of carol in English:


Line breaks: carol
Pronunciation: /ˈkar(ə)l


  • A religious folk song or popular hymn, particularly one associated with Christmas: we sang carols by candlelight
    More example sentences
    • Groups singing carols and folk songs to the beat of local musical instruments would arrive unannounced at any time of the night.
    • I always loved singing Christmas carols and hymns, and looked forward to the Nine Lessons and Carols service before Christmas.
    • One of the main objectives of the choir at present is to put together a presentation of hymns and carols for Christmas services.
    Christmas song, hymn, psalm, canticle
    archaic noel

verb (carols, carolling, carolled; US carols, caroling, caroled)

Back to top  
  • 1 [with object] Sing or say (something) happily: [with direct speech]: ‘Goodbye,’ he carolled
    More example sentences
    • Leo caroled her laughter, and said: ‘The gem is the one I picked when I created my character!’
    • Then there was the yearly appearance of the young lady who, clad in riding outfit and cracking a mean whip, leapt on to the stage carolling ‘The next horse I ride on I'm going to be tied on.’
    • Yet, I don't spring out of bed each morning, carolling syrupy songs about how glad I am to be preparing for work.
    sing, trill, chorus, warble, chirp, pipe, quaver, chant, intone
    archaic wassail
  • 2 (as noun carolling) The activity of singing Christmas carols: Christmas carolling
    More example sentences
    • Not only were nine out ten adults convinced that Christmas carolling was disappearing as a tradition, but nine out of ten were also worried about it.
    • They all insisted that they want both carolling and Christmas party this year.
    • The FACES Club, with its mandate of breaking racial barriers and promoting cross-cultural friendships, decided to participate in the carolling to raise awareness about what they stand for.



More example sentences
  • And finally, there's this local song that's not really a Christmas song, but which carollers always sing at each house.
  • A quarter of an hour later a new group of carollers poured in and surrounded us.
  • Smiles and offers of hot chocolate greet carolers as they stroll through the snowy streets singing the melodies of Christmas.


Middle English: from Old French carole (noun), caroler (verb), of unknown origin.

More definitions of carol

Definition of carol in:

Get more from Oxford Dictionaries

Subscribe to remove adverts and access premium resources

Word of the day tortie
Pronunciation: ˈtɔːtiː
a tortoiseshell cat