[ kar-uh l ]
/ ˈkær əl /


verb (used without object), car·oled, car·ol·ing or (especially British) car·olled, car·ol·ling.

to sing Christmas songs or hymns, especially in a group performing in a public place or going from house to house.
to sing, especially in a lively, joyous manner; warble.

verb (used with object), car·oled, car·ol·ing or (especially British) car·olled, car·ol·ling.

to sing joyously.
to praise or celebrate in song.

Nearby words

  1. carné,
  2. caro,
  3. caro's acid,
  4. carob,
  5. caroche,
  6. carol city,
  7. carol ii,
  8. carol stream,
  9. carol.,
  10. carola

Origin of carol

1250–1300; Middle English carole ring, circle (of stones), enclosed place for study (see carrel), ringdance with song (hence, song) < Anglo-French carole, Old French *corole (compare Old Provençal corola), apparently < Latin corolla garland (see corolla), conflated with Latin choraula < Greek choraúlēs piper for choral dance, equivalent to chor(ós) chorus + -aulēs, derivative of aulós pipe

Related formscar·ol·er; especially British, car·ol·ler, nounout·car·ol, verb (used with object), out·car·oled, out·car·ol·ing or (especially British) out·car·olled, out·car·ol·ling.un·car·oled, adjectiveun·car·olled, adjective Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

Examples from the Web for carolling

British Dictionary definitions for carolling


/ (ˈkærəl) /


a joyful hymn or religious song, esp one (a Christmas carol) celebrating the birth of Christ
archaic an old English circular dance

verb -ols, -olling or -olled or US -ols, -oling or -oled

(intr) to sing carols at Christmas
to sing (something) in a joyful manner
Derived Formscaroler or caroller, nouncaroling or carolling, noun

Word Origin for carol

C13: from Old French, of uncertain origin

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 carolling
Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper