or kar·a·bi·ner

[ kar-uh-bee-ner ]
/ ˌkær əˈbi nər /
Save This Word!

a D-shaped ring with a spring catch on one side, used for fastening ropes in mountaineering.
Smoothly step over to these common grammar mistakes that trip many people up. Good luck!
Question 1 of 7
Fill in the blank: I can’t figure out _____ gave me this gift.

Origin of carabiner

1915–20; <Austrian German Karabiner, shortening of German Karabinerhaken carbine hook, equivalent to Karabiner (<French carabinecarbine + German -er-er1) + Hakenhook1; it was originally used to fasten carbines to bandoleers
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2023


What does carabiner mean?

A carabiner is a closed hook used to secure ropes, especially in mountain climbing.

Carabiners consist of a D-shaped metal frame, about the size of your palm, with one side that opens using a spring-loaded mechanism called a springlock. Carabiners are used to easily clip ropes to harnesses or other hooks, such as in mountaineering.

Example: Before you start climbing, make sure you connect your carabiner to your harness and rope.

Where does carabiner come from?

The word carabiner entered English some time around 1915, during World War I. The word ultimately has its roots in the German word Karabinerhaken, meaning “carbine hook”—a hook used to connect a soldier’s carbine (a type of rifle) to a strap. In English, the word was shortened to carabiner.

In today’s context, carabiners are mainly associated with adventurous, outdoor activities, especially rock climbing. In most cases, carabiners are designed to be used with one hand—so a rope can be easily attached to a hook—but there are many variations. Some have a twist lock or multiple hook closures.

Not all carabiners are meant to be strong enough for rock climbing. Some are used for situations that are not quite so life-and-death—such as attaching a tool or keychain to a belt loop.

Did you know ... ?

What are some words that share a root or word element with carabiner?

What are some words that often get used in discussing carabiner?

What are some words carabiner may be commonly confused with?

How is carabiner used in real life?

Experienced climbers know the difference between the type of carabiner that holds them up on the side of the mountain and the one that holds a keychain.


Try using carabiner!

True or false?

A carabiner is an open hook.

How to use carabiner in a sentence

British Dictionary definitions for carabiner

/ (ˌkærəˈbiːnə) /

a variant spelling of karabiner
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