Definition of carry in English:

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Pronunciation: /ˈkari/

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, shift, switch, fetch, transport
informal cart, lug, hump, schlep, tote
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, transmit, move, handle
transmit, conduct, pass on, relay, communicate, convey, impart, bear, dispatch, beam;
disseminate, spread, circulate, diffuse
1.2Have on one’s person: he was killed for the money he was carrying 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 a nasty disease which affects humans
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, underpin, buttress
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
3 [no object] (Of a sound, ball, missile, etc.) reach a specified point: his voice carried clearly across the room the ball carried to second slip
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, be transmitted
3.1 [with object] (Of a gun or similar weapon) propel (a missile) to a specified distance.
3.2 [with object] Take 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.
4Assume or accept (responsibility or blame): they must carry management responsibility for the mess they have got 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.
undertake, accept, assume, bear, shoulder, support, sustain;
take on, take up, take on oneself;
manage, handle, deal with, get to grips with, turn one's hand to
4.1Be responsible for the effectiveness 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.
5 (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, perform, acquit
rare comport, deport
6Have 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, lead to, result in, occasion, have as a consequence, have;
require, demand
6.1(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, give, release, distribute, spread, disseminate;
broadcast, transmit
6.2(Of a shop) keep a regular stock of (goods for sale): 550 off-licences carry the basic range
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 for sale, have, retail, market, supply, trade in, deal in, traffic in, peddle, hawk
6.3Be known or marked by: the product does not carry the swallow symbol
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, present, set forth, be marked with, have
7Approve (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, authorize, mandate, support, back, uphold;
agree to, consent to, assent to, acquiesce in, concur in, accede to, give one's blessing to, bless, give one's seal/stamp of approval to, rubber-stamp, say yes to
informal give the go-ahead to, give the green light to, give the OK to, OK, give the thumbs up to, give the nod to, buy
7.1Persuade (others) 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, prevail on, convince, persuade, influence;
affect, have an effect on, have an impact on, impact on, motivate, stimulate, drive, touch, reach
7.2North 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.
8Transfer (a figure) to an adjacent column during an arithmetical operation (e.g. when a column of digit 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 carrying 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 or rushing with the ball.
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.
1.2 [mass noun] North American The practice of keeping 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 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.
2The range of a gun or similar weapon.
2.1 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.
3 Finance The maintenance of an investment position in a securities market, especially with regard to the costs or profits accruing: if other short-term interest rates are higher than the current yield, the bond is said to involve a negative carry
More 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.



carry all before one

Overcome all opposition: at the beginning of the decade the party seemed to carry all before them
More example sentences
  • This time a short penalty, just metres out, allowed the prop to thunder through the defence carrying all before him.
  • It was only with victory in the 1982 Falklands War that she began to carry all before her.
  • England have shown they are a match for a team that had previously carried all before them.

carry one's bat

Cricket (Of an opening or high-order batsman) be not out at the end of a side’s completed innings.
Example sentences
  • Top of his Test achievements was an innings of 206, carrying his bat, at Lord's in 1938.
  • First he carried his bat with 77 not out as his side posted 140-4 in their overs.
  • He carried his bat for 95, seeing the side to their victory target with ease.

carry the can

British informal Take responsibility for a mistake or misdeed: if anyone makes a mistake, it’s the senior person who has to carry the can
More example sentences
  • Someone will have to carry the can for this and it's not going to be the Prime Minister.
  • Governments, in other words, receive little or no credit for getting things right on the economy, but are still liable to carry the can if things go wrong.
  • But why should the chief executive carry the can for all this?

carry conviction

Be convincing: he might have reassured the financial markets had he carried conviction as a man in complete charge of economic policy
More 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: the gusto of the amateur should carry the day
More 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.
win, capture, gain, secure, effect, take, accomplish

carry weight

Be influential: 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 his dreadful season
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 excited, get overexcited, go too far, lose one's sense of proportion, be swept off one's feet
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: they allowed the deficit to be carried forward
More 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/thing 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 medical condition) 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.
kill, kill off, cause the death of, cause to die, take/end the life of, dispatch, finish off
informal polish off, do in

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.
win, secure, capture, gain, achieve, attain, earn, obtain, acquire, procure, get, collect, pick up, come away with
informal land, net, bag, bank, pot, scoop, walk off/away with
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.
succeed in, triumph in, be victorious in, achieve success in, be successful in, be a success in, do well at, make good in
informal crack

carry on

1Continue an activity or task: you can carry on with a sport as long as you feel comfortable she carries on watching the telly
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, keep, keep at, go on, push on, press on, persist in, persevere in, not stop, maintain
informal stick with/at
1.1Continue 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 in a specified way: they carry on in a very adult fashion
More example sentences
  • Every time we see Arnold Schwarzenegger, he is still behaving, you could say carrying on, like a movie star.
  • Competitors had improved their performance, but the shop carried on as if it could still control the marketplace, according to one retailer.
  • It must get boring, it must; I've been carrying on like a drunken fool for more than 10 years now, & the miraculous things I expect myself to do are being drowned in a sea of self-pity.
behave, act, perform, conduct oneself, acquit oneself, bear oneself, carry oneself
rare comport oneself, deport oneself
2.1Behave in an overemotional way.
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, make mischief, get up to mischief, be mischievous, act up, cause trouble, cause a fuss/commotion, get/be up to no good, be bad, be naughty, clown about/around, fool about/around, mess about/around, act the clown, act the fool, act the goat, act foolishly
informal create
British informal muck about/around, play 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, philander, dally, be involved
informal play around, have a fling, mess about/around, play away
North American informal 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, take part in, participate in, carry out, perform, direct

carry something out

Perform a task: 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, discharge, bring about, bring off, effect
rare effectuate
fulfil, carry through, implement, execute, effect, discharge, perform, honour, redeem, make good;
keep, observe, abide by, comply with, obey, respect, conform to, stick to, act in accordance with, act according to, have regard to, heed, follow, pay attention to, defer to, take notice of, be bound by, keep faith with, stand by, adhere to

carry over

Extend beyond the 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 peace
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

Line breaks: carry

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