Try Our Apps


90s Slang You Should Know


[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. 2017.
Cite This Source
Examples from the Web for carte
Contemporary Examples
Historical Examples
  • Her fairy tales are thin, and marred by weak allegory of the "carte de Tendre" kind.

  • They were already seated at a table, Mary holding the carte in her hand.

    A Stable for Nightmares J. Sheridan Le Fanu
  • I think, after securing his agent's services, he left him carte blanche to act as he would.

    Barren Honour: A Novel George A. Lawrence
  • After reading what I have written upon the carte, surely you can guess.

    The Death Shot Mayne Reid
  • Mr. Smith would take the carte between his finger and thumb and stare at it.

  • But he knew what he was talking about, and they had given him carte blanche.

    The Christian Hall Caine
  • "I did not mean to offend you; I give you carte blanche to insult mine" (holding out a very minute Russia leather one).

    Red as a Rose is She Rhoda Broughton
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
Cite This Source
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
Cite This Source

Word of the Day

Difficulty index for carte

Some English speakers likely know this word

Word Value for carte

Scrabble Words With Friends

Nearby words for carte