an automobile.
a vehicle running on rails, as a streetcar or railroad car.
the part of an elevator, balloon, modern airship, etc., that carries the passengers, freight, etc.
British Dialect. any wheeled vehicle, as a farm cart or wagon.
Literary. a chariot, as of war or triumph.
Archaic. cart; carriage.
computer-assisted retrieval.
carat; carats.
Contemporary Examples

With Christopher in the car, Styers picked up his good friend Roger Scott.
Death Row Debbie Milke Could Soon Be Free Terry Greene Sterling May 25, 2013

His car, a lightly used Lincoln, was riddled with bullet holes.
How a Rich Suburban Girl Became a Drug Kingpin Jeff Deeney July 9, 2009

No Israeli casualties have been reported thus far, although one man was reportedly seriously injured when a rocket struck his car.
Numbers Don’t Tell the Mideast Story Thane Rosenbaum July 9, 2014

The last thing Boyd says he remembers is sitting in the front seat of the car outside the party, drinking liquor.
From PTSD to Prison: Why Veterans Become Criminals Matthew Wolfe July 27, 2013

He meets Mike with his getaway bag and car out in a beautiful park.
The 17 Most Iconic Scenes in ‘Breaking Bad’ (VIDEO) Tricia Romano September 28, 2013

Historical Examples

“You can get about the country pretty quickly in that car,” I said.
The Red Hand of Ulster George A. Birmingham

Running the car into the shadow of a ruined house, I try to sleep.
Ballads of a Bohemian Robert W. Service

Major Phillips was welcomed with both hands and tucked into the car.
Judy of York Hill Ethel Hume Patterson Bennett

She bowed curtly to Grace and Emma as her car whizzed by them.
Grace Harlowe’s Return to Overton Campus Jessie Graham Flower

Adele took the girl’s feet and drew them down to the step of the car.
At the Villa Rose A. E. W. Mason


Also called motorcar, automobile. a self-propelled road vehicle designed to carry passengers, esp one with four wheels that is powered by an internal-combustion engine
(as modifier): car coat

a conveyance for passengers, freight, etc, such as a cable car or the carrier of an airship or balloon
(Brit) a railway vehicle for passengers only, such as a sleeping car or buffet car
(mainly US & Canadian) a railway carriage or van
(mainly US) the enclosed platform of a lift
a poetic word for chariot
compound annual return

c.1300, “wheeled vehicle,” from Anglo-French carre, Old North French carre, from Vulgar Latin *carra, related to Latin carrum, carrus (plural carra), originally “two-wheeled Celtic war chariot,” from Gaulish karros, a Celtic word (cf. Old Irish and Welsh carr “cart, wagon,” Breton karr “chariot”), from PIE *krsos, from root *kers- “to run” (see current (adj.)).

“From 16th to 19th c. chiefly poetic, with associations of dignity, solemnity, or splendour …” [OED]. Used in U.S. of railway carriages by 1826; extension to “automobile” is by 1896. Car bomb first 1972, in reference to Northern Ireland. The Latin word also is the source of Italian and Spanish carro, French char.


A group of prisoners from the same city or other place; locational clique: All these kids were in the Sacramento car (1980s+ Prison)

Related Terms

funny car, prowl car

Contents of Address Part of Register
Carina (constellation)
Carolina Panthers
computer-assisted retrieval


Read Also:

  • Caramba

    (used as an exclamation of astonishment, dismay, or anger.) Contemporary Examples The man who would become the most influential fictionalist of the last half of the 20th century cried, “Ah, caramba!” Borges Had A Genius For Literature But Not Love Or Much Else Allen Barra October 23, 2014 Historical Examples In a few minutes they […]

  • Carapace

    a bony or chitinous shield, test, or shell covering some or all of the dorsal part of an animal, as of a turtle. Contemporary Examples Ian McEwan: Well, I think one way… I think you have to develop a carapace of boringness. Hanging Out with Ian McEwan: Full Transcript The Daily Beast Video April 13, […]

  • Caraway

    a plant, Carum carvi, of the parsley family, native to Europe, having finely divided leaves and umbels of white or pinkish flowers. Also called caraway seed. the aromatic seedlike fruit of this plant, used in cooking and medicine. Hattie Ophelia Wyatt, 1878–1950, U.S. politician: first elected woman senator, from Arkansas, 1932. Historical Examples caraway (negro) […]

  • Carbarn

    a large building for the housing and maintenance of streetcars, railroad cars, or buses.

Disclaimer: Car definition / meaning should not be considered complete, up to date, and is not intended to be used in place of a visit, consultation, or advice of a legal, medical, or any other professional. All content on this website is for informational purposes only.