[kar-uh-sel, kar-uh-sel]


a continuously revolving belt, track or other device on which items are placed for later retrieval: a baggage carousel at an airport.

Origin of carousel

1640–50; < French: kind of tournament < Italian carosello kind of ball game < Neapolitan dialect carusello game played with clay balls, clay ball, literally, little head, equivalent to carus(o) shorn head (perhaps based on the Greek stem kors- shave) + -ello diminutive suffix
Can be confusedcarousel carousal


[kar-uh-sel, kar-uh-sel]


a circular tray in which photographic transparencies are held on a projector and from which they are lowered through slots for projection as the tray is rotated. Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

Related Words for carousel

roundabout, whirligig, conveyer, ride

Examples from the Web for carousel

Contemporary Examples of carousel

Historical Examples of carousel

  • Under the sunshade it was infuriatingly like a horse on a carousel.

    Sand Doom

    William Fitzgerald Jenkins

  • The four carousel's sprang to their feet when the first strain reached their ears.

    A Victorious Union

    Oliver Optic

  • Forbes and Persis sent back mocking smiles as they side-stepped into the carousel.

  • As a scene viewed from a carousel, the field of ice swept around me in our dizzy, twisting progress.

    My Attainment of the Pole

    Frederick A. Cook

  • For example, here was toll calls, telephone long-distance calls placed from the telephone at the Carousel at 1312 Commerce.

    Warren Commission (12 of 26): Hearings Vol. XII (of 15)

    The President's Commission on the Assassination of President Kennedy

British Dictionary definitions for carousel



a circular magazine in which slides for a projector are held: it moves round as each slide is shown
a rotating conveyor belt for luggage, as at an airport
US and Canadian a revolving circular platform provided with wooden animals, seats, etc, on which people ride for amusementAlso called (in Britain and certain other countries): merry-go-round, roundabout
history a tournament in which horsemen took part in races and various manoeuvres in formation

Word Origin for carousel

C17: from French carrousel, from Italian carosello, 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 carousel

"merry-go-round," 1670s, earlier "playful tournament of knights in chariots or on horseback" (1640s), from French carrousel "a tilting match," from Italian carusiello, possibly from carro "chariot," from Latin carrus (see car).

A new and rare invencon knowne by the name of the royalle carousell or tournament being framed and contrived with such engines as will not only afford great pleasure to us and our nobility in the sight thereof, but sufficient instruction to all such ingenious young gentlemen as desire to learne the art of perfect horsemanshipp. [letter of 1673]
Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper