Meaning of “carry” in the English Dictionary

"carry" in British English

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uk /ˈkær.i/ us /ˈker.i/

carry verb (TRANSPORT)

A1 [ I or T ] to hold something or someone with your hands, arms, or on your back and transport it, him, or her from one place to another:

Would you like me to carry your bag for you?
She carried her tired child upstairs to bed.
These books are too heavy for me to carry.
We only had a small suitcase, so we were able to carry it onto the plane.
Robson injured his leg in the second half of the match and had to be carried off.
Thieves broke the shop window and carried off (= removed) jewellery worth thousands of pounds.

B2 [ I or T ] to move someone or something from one place to another:

The bus that was involved in the accident was carrying children to school.
The Brooklyn Bridge carries traffic across the East River from Brooklyn to Manhattan.
Police think that the body was carried down the river (= was transported by the flow of the river).
Underground cables carry electricity to all parts of the city.
Rubbish left on the beach during the day is carried away (= removed) at night by the tide.

More examples

  • Will you be able to carry all the shopping back home on your bike?
  • Kangaroos carry their young in pouches.
  • She was carrying a tray of drinks.
  • Water slopped out of the bucket as he carried it up the stairs.
  • They carried the wounded from the battlefield.

carry verb (HAVE WITH YOU)

B1 [ T ] to have something with you all the time:

Police officers in Britain do not usually carry guns.
figurative He will carry the memory of the accident with him (= will remember the accident) for ever.

More examples

  • She still carries his photo in her purse.
  • I don't usually carry much cash with me.
  • He needed 100 stitches and still carries scars all over his body.
  • He carries a British passport.
  • So many young people round here carry weapons.

carry verb (HAVE)

C2 [ T ] to have something as a part, quality, or result:

Our cars carry a twelve-month guarantee.
His speech carried so much conviction that I had to agree with him.
In some countries, murder carries the death penalty.
I'm afraid my opinion doesn't carry any weight with (= influence) my boss.
US The salesclerk said they didn't carry (= have a supply of) sportswear.

More examples

  • All investments carry with them some risk.
  • Burglary carries a maximum sentence of 14 years' imprisonment.
  • His words in meetings carry an authority.
  • For children, obesity carries a stigma.
  • Train travel still carries with it an aura of romance.

carry verb (MOVE BODY)

carry yourself

to move your body in a particular way:

You can tell she's a dancer from the way that she carries herself.

carrynoun [ U ]

/ˈkær.i/ /ˈker.i/ US

the act of carrying a gun:

For daily carry by officers, weapons should be durable and easy to clean.

carryadjective [ before noun ]

/ˈkær.i/ /ˈker.i/ US specialized

relating to the carrying of a gun:

Basically, it's impossible to get a carry permit in New York.
Illinois one of only two states without a carry law.

(Definition of “carry” from the Cambridge Advanced Learner’s Dictionary & Thesaurus © Cambridge University Press)

"carry" in American English

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us /ˈkær·i/

carry verb (TRANSPORT)

[ T ] to transport or take from one place to another:

The plane carried 116 passengers and a crew of seven.
Would you like me to carry your bag for you?
Underground cables carry electricity to all parts of the city.

carry verb (HAVE WITH YOU)

[ T ] to have something with you from one place to another:

I carry my wallet in my back pocket.
I don’t carry a lot of cash.

carry verb (SPREAD)

[ T ] to take something from one person or thing and give it to another person or thing; to spread:

The mosquitoes will be studied to see if they carry the virus.

carry verb (HAVE)

[ T ] to have something as a part, quality, or result:

I’m sorry, we don’t carry shoes (= we do not sell shoes).
His argument carries a lot of conviction (= is supported by strong belief).

carry verb (SUPPORT WEIGHT)

[ T ] to support the weight of something:

The weight of the roof is carried by steel beams.

carry verb (KEEP IN OPERATION)

[ T ] to support, keep in operation, or make a success:

We cannot afford to carry people who don’t do their share of the work.

carry verb (WIN)

[ T ] to win the support, agreement, or sympathy of a group of people:

Gore is expected to carry (= get the most votes in) the midwestern states.

carry verb (APPROVE)

[ T ] to win approval or support for something:

With 21 votes for, and 8 opposed, the motion is carried.

carry verb (COMMUNICATE)

[ T ] to include a particular item of news, information, etc. in something printed, broadcast, or sent over electric wires:

Newspapers and radio and TV stations throughout Missouri carried the story.

carry verb (REACH)

[ I ] (esp. of sounds) to be able to reach or travel a particular distance:

The actorsvoices carried all the way to the back of the theater.

carry verb (MOVE NUMBER)

[ T ] to put a number into another column when doing addition

carry verb (MOVE BODY)

[ T ] to move and hold your body in a particular way:

You can tell she’s a dancer by the way she carries herself.

(Definition of “carry” from the Cambridge Academic Content Dictionary © Cambridge University Press)

"carry" in Business English

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carryverb [ T ]

uk /ˈkæri/ us

TRANSPORT to transport or take something from one place to another:

The railroad carries tons of freight every day.

COMMERCE to offer something for sale:

Does this store carry camping equipment?


uk /ˈkæri/ us
the Carry

informal FINANCE →  carried interest

(Definition of “carry” from the Cambridge Business English Dictionary © Cambridge University Press)