a plant, Daucus carota, of the parsley family, having pinnately decompound leaves and umbels of small white or yellow flowers, in its wild form a widespread, familiar weed, and in cultivation valued for its edible root.
the nutritious, orange to yellow root of this plant, eaten raw or cooked.
something hoped for or promised as a lure or incentive:
To boost productivity, leaders hinted at the carrot of subsidized housing for the workers.
Compare stick1 (def 8).
to treat (furs) with mercuric nitrate preparatory to felting.
Contemporary Examples

I had never craved a carrot before, or fantasized about raiding an apple tree in a nearby garden.
My Week At An Austrian Fat Camp Owen Matthews October 26, 2013

Study participants who were themselves overweight viewed stick—but not carrot—policies as threatening.
The Unintended Consequences of Company Wellness Penalties Eliza Shapiro July 5, 2013

In a large bowl, combine the eggs, oil, sugar, carrot, and apple.
Foods That We Love But Shouldn’t Lydia Brownlow July 14, 2011

Fennel, carrot, and Apple Slaw by Dan Smith and Steve McDonagh “The Hearty Boys” put a fresh twist on a classic summer side.
What to Eat June 29, 2009

Ask your immediate neighbors to bring over a carrot or a potato, if possible.
Grandma’s Election Night Recipes with a Dash of Opinion Patricia J. Williams November 3, 2008

Historical Examples

If too white, put in a little of the juice of carrot to give it a yellow hue.
Soil Culture J. H. Walden

Widely, eagerly, he opened his mouth, to close his teeth upon—a carrot.
Golden Moments Anonymous

Small Potatoes, roughly hollowed out, or pieces of carrot, may be used as traps for wireworm and other vermin.
The Culture of Vegetables and Flowers From Seeds and Roots, 16th Edition Sutton and Sons

It snapped like a carrot about forty inches from the ground.
Maiwa’s Revenge H. Rider Haggard

Put strings through the upper rim, fill the carrot cup with water, and hang it up in a sunny window.
Outlines of Lessons in Botany, Part I; From Seed to Leaf Jane H. Newell

an umbelliferous plant, Daucus carota sativa, with finely divided leaves and flat clusters of small white flowers See also wild carrot
the long tapering orange root of this plant, eaten as a vegetable

something offered as a lure or incentive
carrot and stick, reward and punishment as methods of persuasion


1530s, from Middle French carrotte, from Latin carota, from Greek karoton “carrot,” probably from PIE *kre-, from root *ker- “horn, head” (see horn (n.)); so called for its horn-like shape.

Originally white-rooted and a medicinal plant to the ancients, who used it as an aphrodisiac and to prevent poisoning. Not entirely distinguished from parsnips in ancient times. Reintroduced in Europe by Arabs c.1100. The orange carrot, which existed perhaps as early as 6c., probably began as a mutation of the Asian purple carrot and was cultivated into the modern edible plant 16c.-17c. in the Netherlands. Thus the word is used as a color name but not before 1670s in English, originally of red hair.


Read Also:

  • Carrot fly

    noun a dipterous insect, Psila rosae, that is a serious pest of carrots. The larvae tunnel into the root to feed Historical Examples It has been observed that when singling the disturbance of the soil is favourable to the operations of the carrot fly. The Culture of Vegetables and Flowers From Seeds and Roots, 16th […]

  • Carrot-top

    a person who has red hair. Historical Examples She glanced up at my own carrot-top, and then averted her gaze. Astounding Stories of Super-Science September 1930 Various Who’d have thought Sam Lacey’s carrot-top could be made over into that? The Opened Shutters Clara Louise Burnham noun A redhead (1880s+)

  • Carroty

    like a carrot, as in color, flavor, or shape. Historical Examples Who is Miss Jewsberry, who has carroty hair and writes novels? Letters to an Unknown Prosper Mrime “I should hardly call it carroty,” contended the Philosopher. Tea-Table Talk Jerome K. Jerome He had what his mamma called beautiful auburn locks, but what other people […]

  • Carrousel

    carousel. Historical Examples The carrousel is void; the black tide recoiling; ‘fugitives rushing as far as Saint-Antoine before they stop’. A Wanderer in Paris E. V. Lucas I saw you, too, general; you were reading the inscription on the arch of the carrousel. The Companions of Jehu Alexandre Dumas, pre He was standing in the […]

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