Definition of cart in English:

Share this entry


Pronunciation: /kɑːt/


1A strong open vehicle with two or four wheels, typically used for carrying loads and pulled by a horse: a horse and cart
More example sentences
  • The road passes through beautiful, wild scenery and twice crosses the glacier and on busy days, up to 40 sturdy little Fjord horses pulling traditional cariole carts carry visitors.
  • A horse pulling a cart carrying racegoers was struck by lightning and died and a passenger was killed.
  • The northbound section which opened in 1897 for horses and carts, now carries a daily traffic flow of 50,000 vehicles on its two lanes.
wagon, carriage
archaic wain
1.1A shallow open container on wheels that may be pulled or pushed by hand.
Example sentences
  • We left our headquarters, pushing a wooden cart containing our tents and camping equipment plus food all the way to Smithills Hall.
  • The men push and pull carts through the dusty streets of the city.
  • She pushed the cart that contained the empty cups of various forms of medication into an empty examination room.
handcart, pushcart, trolley, barrow, wheelbarrow
1.2 (also shopping cart) North American term for shopping trolley.
Example sentences
  • The foreground clutter of grocery carts and trolleys in this painting is as intricately painted as everything else.
  • He lunges at her, knocking a supermarket cart aside.
  • I don't care if they become president of the United States or the person in charge of bringing the carts in from the supermarket parking lot.
1.3 (also shopping cart) A facility on a website that records items selected by a customer for purchase until the transaction is completed: from the product page select the size and quantity you’d like and click ‘Buy’ to add it to your cart
More example sentences
  • You must add the item to your cart to see the discount.
  • Next, you need to click the 'Buy' button and add the product to your cart.
  • Get your cart to $25 to get free shipping as well!


[with object]
1Convey or put in a cart or similar vehicle: the meat was pickled in salt and carted to El Paso
More example sentences
  • Boys carted crates of water in and others hauled workable furniture out on tractors.
  • The waste collection is entirely mechanized with the trucks using their forklifts to lift the bins and transfer the waste from bin to truck which is carted away to a modern waste processing facility outside town.
  • One of his three sons Len Watson became a contract carrier in Carnamah and districts - carting wheat, superphosphate, sheep, wool and general freight from 1932-1949.
transport, convey, haul, transfer, move, conduct, transmit, shift, fetch, take, ferry;
carry, lug, tote, heave, heft, drag
informal hump, schlep
2 [with object and adverbial of direction] informal Carry (a heavy or cumbersome object) somewhere with difficulty: they carted the piano down three flights of stairs
More example sentences
  • Though his truck is a picture of driving comfort, Mr McAuliffe is far from lax about the responsibilities he carries in carting thousands of litres of fuel across the Mid West countryside.
  • The carry handle makes carting the box very easy, though you'll still need to bring along a display device of some kind, which the company sells separately.
  • The bits no-one wanted, or which were too big and heavy to cart away would lay there to sink into the vegetation and decay slowly over the years.
2.1Remove or convey (someone) somewhere unceremoniously: they were carted off to the nearest police station
More example sentences
  • He is unceremoniously carted around in a plastic urn inside a carrier bag which nervously changes hands between them.
  • The police entered, removed him from a closet where he had sought refuge, handcuffed and carted him off in front of 15 patrol cars and countless neighbours.
  • He said that, when the firing stopped, he saw people being carted off in ambulances to hospital.
2.2 Cricket Hit (the ball) with a powerful stroke that sends it a long way: he carted Sinfield for six
More example sentences
  • Srinath too proved that he is no slouch, carting the ball to all parts in his 40-ball stay at the wicket.
  • He carted pace bowler Shane Bond for a huge six over his head before being dropped at mid-off by Mark Richardson.
  • Hamish Marshall followed for 6 and it took Craig McMillan, who carted 33 off 35 balls, to lift New Zealand past 250.



in the cart

British informal In trouble or difficulty: if he didn’t finish the round the whole team would be in the cart
More example sentences
  • So now you know why British manufacturing is in the cart.
  • Once he did that he put himself in the cart and he was always on a hiding to nothing.

put the cart before the horse

Reverse the proper order or procedure of something.
Example sentences
  • Iain says: ‘The authorities are putting the cart before the horse.’
  • Co-opted committee member John Clancy said: ‘It seems a little like putting the cart before the horse.’
  • It is surely a case of putting the cart before the horse,’ said Dr Caulfield.



Pronunciation: /ˈkɑːtə/
Example sentences
  • The Chairman said a fine of 5s would be imposed, and he hoped it would be a lesson to other carters, for any further case would be more strictly dealt with.
  • On a thirsty day, unscrupulous carters were known to extract a free drink from a keg of porter by boring a small hole through the bung, inserting a goose quill and sucking some of the contents.
  • The pond, which years ago used to be used by carters to dampen their wheels and by residents to wash their clothes, has been the home of a family of ducks for some years


Pronunciation: /ˈkɑːtfʊl/
noun (plural cartfuls)
Example sentences
  • This past winter I was at work, happily shelving a cartful of books, when I looked up and saw, right in front of me, a nun, dressed in nun's apparel.
  • And here, folks are willing to stand in line for an hour on a Sunday evening to check out a cartful of groceries.
  • A customer was suddenly approaching her lane with a cartful of items.


Middle English: from Old Norse kartr, probably influenced by Anglo-Norman French and Old Northern French carete, diminutive of carre (see car).

  • Our word cart, deriving from Old Norse kartr and related to car, was originally used to talk about a carriage of any kind, even a chariot, rather than the humble vehicle we are familiar with. If you put the cart before the horse, an expression first recorded in the early 16th century, you are doing things in the wrong order. A medieval version was set the oxen before the yoke.

Words that rhyme with cart

apart, apparat, art, baht, Bart, Barthes, carte, chart, clart, dart, Eilat, fart, ghat, Gujarat, Gujrat, hart, Harte, heart, heart-to-heart, impart, Jat, kart, kyat, Maat, Mansart, mart, outsmart, part, quarte, salat, savate, Scart, smart, start, tart, zakat

For editors and proofreaders

Line breaks: cart

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.