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[kar-uh-sel, kar-uh-sel] /ˌkær əˈsɛl, ˈkær əˌsɛl/
merry-go-round (def 1).
a continuously revolving belt, track or other device on which items are placed for later retrieval:
a baggage carousel at an airport.
Origin of carousel
Neapolitan dialect
1640-50; < French: kind of tournament < Italian carosello kind of ball game < Neapolitan dialect carusello game played with clay balls, clay ball, literally, little head, equivalent to carus(o) shorn head (perhaps based on the Greek stem kors- shave) + -ello diminutive suffix
Can be confused
carousel, carousal.


[kar-uh-sel, kar-uh-sel] /ˌkær əˈsɛl, ˈkær əˌsɛl/
a circular tray in which photographic transparencies are held on a projector and from which they are lowered through slots for projection as the tray is rotated. Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018.
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Examples from the Web for carousel
Contemporary Examples
Historical Examples
  • Under the sunshade it was infuriatingly like a horse on a carousel.

    Sand Doom William Fitzgerald Jenkins
  • The four carousel's sprang to their feet when the first strain reached their ears.

    A Victorious Union Oliver Optic
  • Forbes and Persis sent back mocking smiles as they side-stepped into the carousel.

    What Will People Say? Rupert Hughes
  • As a scene viewed from a carousel, the field of ice swept around me in our dizzy, twisting progress.

    My Attainment of the Pole Frederick A. Cook
  • For example, here was toll calls, telephone long-distance calls placed from the telephone at the carousel at 1312 Commerce.

    Warren Commission (12 of 26): Hearings Vol. XII (of 15) The President's Commission on the Assassination of President Kennedy
British Dictionary definitions for carousel


/ˌkærəˈsɛl; -ˈzɛl/
a circular magazine in which slides for a projector are held: it moves round as each slide is shown
a rotating conveyor belt for luggage, as at an airport
(US & Canadian) a revolving circular platform provided with wooden animals, seats, etc, on which people ride for amusement Also called (in Britain and certain other countries) merry-go-round, roundabout
(history) a tournament in which horsemen took part in races and various manoeuvres in formation
Word Origin
C17: from French carrousel, from Italian carosello, 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
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Word Origin and History for carousel

"merry-go-round," 1670s, earlier "playful tournament of knights in chariots or on horseback" (1640s), from French carrousel "a tilting match," from Italian carusiello, possibly from carro "chariot," from Latin carrus (see car).

A new and rare invencon knowne by the name of the royalle carousell or tournament being framed and contrived with such engines as will not only afford great pleasure to us and our nobility in the sight thereof, but sufficient instruction to all such ingenious young gentlemen as desire to learne the art of perfect horsemanshipp. [letter of 1673]

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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