[ kuh-rot-id ]
/ kəˈrɒt ɪd /


Also called carotid artery. either of the two large arteries, one on each side of the head, that carry blood to the head and that divide into an external branch supplying the neck, face, and other external parts, and an internal branch supplying the brain, eye, and other internal parts.


pertaining to a carotid artery.

Nearby words

  1. carotenosis cutis,
  2. carothers,
  3. carothers, wallace hume,
  4. caroticotympanic,
  5. caroticotympanic nerve,
  6. carotid artery,
  7. carotid body,
  8. carotid bruit,
  9. carotid canal,
  10. carotid ganglion

Origin of carotid

1660–70; < Greek karōtídes neck arteries, equivalent to karōt(ikós) soporific (kár(os) stupor + -ōtikos -otic) + -ides -id1; so called by Galen, who found that their compression causes stupor

Related formsca·rot·id·al, adjectivein·ter·ca·rot·id, adjectivepost·ca·rot·id, adjective Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

Examples from the Web for carotid

British Dictionary definitions for carotid


/ (kəˈrɒtɪd) /


either one of the two principal arteries that supply blood to the head and neck


of or relating to either of these arteries
Derived Formscarotidal, adjective

Word Origin for carotid

C17: from French, from Greek karōtides, from karoun to stupefy; so named by Galen, because pressure on them produced unconsciousness

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 carotid



1540s, "pertaining to the two great arteries of the neck," from Greek karotides "great arteries of the neck," plural of karotis, from karoun "plunge into sleep or stupor," because compression of these arteries was believed to cause unconsciousness (Galen). But if this is folk etymology, the Greek word could be from kara "head," related to kranion "skull, upper part of the head," from PIE root *ker- "horn, head" (see horn (n.)).

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper

Medicine definitions for carotid


[ kə-rŏtĭd ]


Either of two major arteries, one on each side of the neck, that carry blood to the head.


Relating to either of these arteries.

The American Heritage® Stedman's Medical Dictionary Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company.