Try Our Apps


Avoid these words. Seriously.


[kahr-tn] /ˈkɑr tn/
a cardboard or plastic box used typically for storage or shipping.
the amount a carton can hold.
the contents of a carton.
a cardboardlike substance consisting of chewed plant material often mixed with soil, made by certain insects for building nests.
verb (used with object)
to pack in a carton:
to carton eggs for supermarket sales.
verb (used without object)
to make or form cardboard sheets into cartons.
Origin of carton
1780-90; < French < Italian cartone pasteboard; see cartoon
Related forms
uncartoned, adjective
Can be confused
carton, cartoon. Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018.
Cite This Source
Examples from the Web for carton
Contemporary Examples
Historical Examples
  • "You are a good man and a true friend," said carton, in an altered voice.

    A Tale of Two Cities Charles Dickens
  • Mr. Lorry had not thought of that, and he looked quickly at carton to see if it were in his mind.

    A Tale of Two Cities Charles Dickens
  • It attracted Mr. Lorry's eyes to carton's face, which was turned to the fire.

    A Tale of Two Cities Charles Dickens
  • Mr. carton came up at the moment, and touched Mr. Lorry on the arm.

    A Tale of Two Cities Charles Dickens
  • Mr. carton's manner was so careless as to be almost insolent.

    A Tale of Two Cities Charles Dickens
  • Sydney carton, idlest and most unpromising of men, was Stryver's great ally.

    A Tale of Two Cities Charles Dickens
British Dictionary definitions for carton


a cardboard box for containing goods
a container of waxed paper or plastic in which liquids, such as milk, are sold
  1. a white disc at the centre of a target
  2. a shot that hits this disc
verb (transitive)
to enclose (goods) in a carton
Word Origin
C19: from French, from Italian cartone pasteboard, from cartacard1
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 carton

1816, from French carton "pasteboard" (17c.), from Italian cartone "pasteboard," augmentative of Medieval Latin carta "paper" (see card (n.)). Originally the material for making paper boxes; extended 1906 to the boxes themselves. As a verb, from 1921.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
Cite This Source

Word of the Day

Nearby words for carton

Word Value for carton

Scrabble Words With Friends