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carol

[kar-uh l]
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noun
  1. a song, especially of joy.
  2. a Christmas song or hymn.
  3. a seat in a bay window or oriel.
  4. a compartment in a cloister, similar to a carrel.
  5. a kind of circular dance.
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verb (used without object), car·oled, car·ol·ing or (especially British) car·olled, car·ol·ling.
  1. to sing Christmas songs or hymns, especially in a group performing in a public place or going from house to house.
  2. to sing, especially in a lively, joyous manner; warble.
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verb (used with object), car·oled, car·ol·ing or (especially British) car·olled, car·ol·ling.
  1. to sing joyously.
  2. to praise or celebrate in song.
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Origin of carol

1250–1300; Middle English carole ring, circle (of stones), enclosed place for study (see carrel), ringdance with song (hence, song) < Anglo-French carole, Old French *corole (compare Old Provençal corola), apparently < Latin corolla garland (see corolla), conflated with Latin choraula < Greek choraúlēs piper for choral dance, equivalent to chor(ós) chorus + -aulēs, derivative of aulós pipe
Related formscar·ol·er; especially British, car·ol·ler, nounout·car·ol, verb (used with object), out·car·oled, out·car·ol·ing or (especially British) out·car·olled, out·car·ol·ling.un·car·oled, adjectiveun·car·olled, adjective
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

Examples from the Web for carolling

Historical Examples

  • The day was breaking, and already the birds were carolling to the rising sun.

    Tom Burke Of "Ours", Volume I (of II)

    Charles James Lever

  • From the library came the carolling sweetness of Piney's tenor.

  • It was the carolling of her few words, so free and unconcerned in tone.

  • There we detect him carolling loud and cheerfully, like a robin.

    Bird Neighbors

    Neltje Blanchan

  • Let it sing, for it is like a joyous bird, carolling on ze topmost bough.


British Dictionary definitions for carolling

carol

noun
  1. a joyful hymn or religious song, esp one (a Christmas carol) celebrating the birth of Christ
  2. archaic an old English circular dance
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verb -ols, -olling or -olled or US -ols, -oling or -oled
  1. (intr) to sing carols at Christmas
  2. to sing (something) in a joyful manner
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Derived Formscaroler or caroller, nouncaroling or carolling, noun

Word Origin

C13: from Old French, of uncertain origin
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition © William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012

Word Origin and History for carolling

Carol

masc. proper name, from Medieval Latin Carolus (see Charles). As a fem. proper name, an abbreviation of Caroline. The masc. name never has been popular in U.S.; the fem. form was common after c.1900 and was a top-10 name for U.S. girls born 1936-1950.

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carol

v.

c.1300, "to dance in a ring," from Old French caroler, from carole (see carol (n.)). As "to sing" from late 14c. Related: Caroled; caroling.

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carol

n.

c.1300, "joyful song," also "dance in a ring," from Old French carole "kind of dance in a ring, round dance accompanied by singers," perhaps from Medieval Latin choraula "a dance to the flute," from Latin choraules "flute-player," from Greek khoraules "flute player who accompanies the choral dance," from khoros "chorus" (see chorus) + aulein "to play the flute," from aulos "reed instrument" (see alveolus). The meaning "Christmas hymn of joy" is attested from c.1500.

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Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper