[ kar-uhl ]
See synonyms for carol on
  1. a song, especially of joy.

  2. a Christmas song or hymn.

  1. a seat in a bay window or oriel.

  2. a compartment in a cloister, similar to a carrel.

  3. a kind of circular dance.

verb (used without object),car·oled, car·ol·ing or (especially British) car·olled, car·ol·ling.
  1. to sing Christmas songs or hymns, especially in a group performing in a public place or going from house to house.

  2. 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.
  1. to sing joyously.

  2. to praise or celebrate in song.

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

Other words from carol

  • car·ol·er; especially British, car·ol·ler, noun
  • outcarol, verb (used with object), out·car·oled, out·car·ol·ing or (especially British) out·car·olled, out·car·ol·ling.
  • un·car·oled, adjective
  • un·car·olled, adjective

Other definitions for Carol (2 of 3)

[ kar-uhl ]

  1. a male or female given name.

Other definitions for Carol. (3 of 3)


  1. Carolingian. Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2024

How to use carol in a sentence

  • Flocks of gay birds sat carolling on the luxuriant branches of the fir trees, and their songs filled the room with laughter.

    Maezli | Johanna Spyri
  • He seemed remarkably cheerful, as carolling he drove his carjole and cajoled his horse through the dripping pine forests.

    Three in Norway | James Arthur Lees
  • At this opportune moment Prospero's voice was heard upon the stairs, carolling at the top of his lungs "Rolling down to Rio."

    I Walked in Arden | Jack Crawford
  • It was a fine, lovely morning in May, the sun shine bright above, and the birds were carolling in the hedgerows.

    Lavengro | George Borrow
  • Edgar was enthusiastically carolling 15 a ditty which was then popular among Bayport juvenility.

    Fair Harbor | Joseph Crosby Lincoln

British Dictionary definitions for carol


/ (ˈkærəl) /

  1. a joyful hymn or religious song, esp one (a Christmas carol) celebrating the birth of Christ

  2. archaic an old English circular dance

verb-ols, -olling or -olled or US -ols, -oling or -oled
  1. (intr) to sing carols at Christmas

  2. to sing (something) in a joyful manner

Origin of carol

C13: from Old French, of uncertain origin

Derived forms of carol

  • caroler or caroller, noun
  • caroling or carolling, noun

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