noun, plural car·neys, adjective


or car·ney


noun, plural car·nies.

a person employed by a carnival.


of or relating to carnivals: carny slang.

Origin of carny

First recorded in 1930–35; carn(ival) + -y2 Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

Examples from the Web for carney

Contemporary Examples of carney

Historical Examples of carney

  • Why, Judge Carney's boys had been lost all night and breakfasted on blueberries.

    The Innocent Adventuress

    Mary Hastings Bradley

  • His name was Hessler and his rescuer was a trainman named Carney.

    The Johnstown Horror

    James Herbert Walker

  • So I got you to change it to "Carney" in hopes to throw him off the track.

    A New Sensation

    Albert Ross

  • The whisky that was in Carney's glass shot fair into the speaker's open mouth.

    Bulldog Carney

    W. A. Fraser

  • Carney's nerves were of steel, his brain worked with exquisite precision.

    Bulldog Carney

    W. A. Fraser

British Dictionary definitions for carney




verb -nies, -nying, -nied, -neys, -neying or -neyed

British informal to coax or cajole or act in a wheedling manner

Word Origin for carny

C19: of unknown origin



carney or carnie

noun plural -nies US and Canadian slang

short for carnival
a person who works in a carnival
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 carney



1931, U.S. slang, short for carnival worker (see carnival).

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper