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[kahrt; French kart] /kɑrt; French kart/
noun, plural cartes
[kahrts; French kart] /kɑrts; French kart/ (Show IPA)
(italics) French. menu; bill of fare.
Compare à la carte.
a playing card.
Archaic. a map or chart.
Origin of carte
before 1150; Middle English, Old English: writing paper, document, letter < Latin charta < Greek chártēs sheet of papyrus
Can be confused
cart, carte.


[kahrt] /kɑrt/
Richard d'Oyly
[doi-lee] /ˈdɔɪ li/ (Show IPA),
D'Oyly Carte, Richard.

à la carte

[ah luh kahrt, al-uh; French a la kart] /ˌɑ lə ˈkɑrt, ˌæl ə; French a la ˈkart/
adjective, adverb
with a separate price for each dish offered on the menu:
dinner à la carte.
1820-30; < French: according to the menu; see carte Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018.
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Examples from the Web for carte
Contemporary Examples
Historical Examples
  • But he knew what he was talking about, and they had given him carte blanche.

    The Christian Hall Caine
  • Remember you have carte blanche to come here whenever you choose.

    Molly Bawn Margaret Wolfe Hamilton
  • Since he could not remain, he has left us a carte visite of rarest clarity and beauty.

    Adventures in the Arts Marsden Hartley
  • Sir carte was astonished with his Grace's knowledge, and sympathised with his Grace's feelings.

    The Young Duke Benjamin Disraeli
  • "I will take you round to the Club and get your carte," he suggested.

    Mr. Grex of Monte Carlo E. Phillips Oppenheim
  • You shall have carte blanche in any Fifth Avenue shop to the amount of—$1.75.

    The Mask

    Arthur Hornblow
  • Mr. Adams promised Mr. Gallatin carte blanche as to his instructions.

    Albert Gallatin John Austin Stevens
British Dictionary definitions for carte


a variant spelling of quarte



à la carte

/ɑː lɑː ˈkɑːt; æ lə; French a la kart/
adjective, adverb
(of a menu or a section of a menu) having dishes listed separately and individually priced Compare table d'hôte
(of a dish) offered on such a menu; not part of a set meal
Word Origin
C19: from French, literally: according to the card
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 carte

a la carte

1826, from French à la carte, literally "by the card" (see card (n.)); in other words, "ordered by separate items." Distinguished from a table d'hôte, meal served at a fixed, inclusive price.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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