verb (used without object)

verb (used with object) Nautical.


a careening.
Nautical. the position of a careened ship.

Origin of careen

1585–95 for def 9; < Middle French carine < Latin carīna keel, nutshell; akin to Greek káryon nut
Related formsca·reen·er, noun
Can be confusedcareen career Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

Related Words for careen

lurch, tilt, lean, sway, bend, pitch

Examples from the Web for careen

Contemporary Examples of careen

Historical Examples of careen

  • Of a sudden the wind lulled, and the Circassian righted from her careen.

  • "We must run for shelter there, and careen her," said Levasseur.

    Captain Blood

    Rafael Sabatini

  • But my ships are foul with the long passage, and are in need of a careen.

    The Lost Continent

    C. J. Cutcliffe Hyne

  • We will careen the ship for a day or so, so as to let the carpenter and his mates get at the leak.

    Jones of the 64th

    F. S. (Frederick Sadleir) Brereton

  • When we have your report, we can arrange to careen the ship, but not before.

    Roger the Bold

    F. S. Brereton

British Dictionary definitions for careen



to sway or cause to sway dangerously over to one side
(tr) nautical to cause (a vessel) to keel over to one side, esp in order to clean or repair its bottom
(intr) nautical (of a vessel) to keel over to one side
Derived Formscareenage, nouncareener, noun

Word Origin for careen

C17: from French carène keel, from Italian carena, from Latin carīna keel
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

Word Origin and History for careen

1590s, "to turn a ship on its side" (with the keel exposed), from French cariner, literally "to expose a ship's keel," from Middle French carene "keel" (16c.), from Italian (Genoese dialect) carena, from Latin carina "keel of a ship," originally "nutshell," possibly from PIE root *kar- "hard" (see hard (adj.)).

Intransitive sense of "to lean, to tilt" is from 1763, specifically of ships; in general use by 1883. In sense "to rush headlong," confused with career (v.) since at least 1923. [To career is to move rapidly; to careen is to lurch from side to side (often while moving rapidly).] Earlier figurative uses of careen were "to be laid up; to rest." Related: Careened; careening.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper