[ 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.

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 forms

car·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 Forms

caroler 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