• synonyms


or car·lin

[kahr-lin, ker-]
noun Chiefly Scot.
  1. an old woman.
  2. a hag; witch.
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Origin of carline

1350–1400; Middle English (north) kerling < Old Norse: old woman, equivalent to kerl (mutated variant of karl man) + -ing -ing1
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

Examples from the Web for carline

Historical Examples

  • “Go on, Carline Dodge,” ordered the tall ghost imperturbably.

    Betty Wales Senior

    Margaret Warde

  • Then smiled the carline and said: “Yea, he is thy foster-father, and yet a fond one.”

  • Now there were the Maiden and the Carline at their house, and nought easy was the rede for them.

    The Sundering Flood

    William Morris

  • The other men laughed, but the Carline answered them nought.

    The Sundering Flood

    William Morris

  • But lo, now the Maiden, when she looked about for the Carline, might see her nowhere.

    The Sundering Flood

    William Morris

British Dictionary definitions for carline


  1. a Eurasian thistle-like plant, Carlina vulgaris, having spiny leaves and flower heads surrounded by raylike whitish bracts: family Asteraceae (composites)Also called: carline thistle
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Word Origin

C16: from French, probably from Latin cardō thistle



  1. mainly Scot an old woman, hag, or witch
  2. a variant of carling
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Word Origin

C14: from Old Norse kerling old woman, diminutive of karl man, churl
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