[ kahr-been, -bahyn ]
/ ˈkɑr bin, -baɪn /


a light, gas-operated semiautomatic rifle.
(formerly) a short rifle used in the cavalry.

Origin of carbine

1595–1605; earlier carabine < Middle French: small harquebus, weapon borne by a carabin a lightly armed cavalryman, compared with (e)scarabin gravedigger for plague victims (< Provençal, akin to French escarbot cockchafer, dung beetle ≪ Latin scarabaeus scarab), though semantic change is unclear Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

Examples from the Web for carbine

British Dictionary definitions for carbine

/ (ˈkɑːbaɪn) /


a light automatic or semiautomatic rifle of limited range
Also called: carabin, carabine a light short-barrelled shoulder rifle formerly used by cavalry

Word Origin for carbine

C17: from French carabine, from Old French carabin carabineer, perhaps variant of escarrabin one who prepares corpses for burial, from scarabée, from Latin scarabaeus scarab
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