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verb (used without object)
  1. to find fault or complain querulously or unreasonably; be niggling in criticizing; cavil: to carp at minor errors.
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  1. a peevish complaint.
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Origin of carp

1200–50; Middle English carpen to speak, prate < Old Norse karpa to brag, wrangle
Related formscarp·er, noun

Synonyms for carp

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Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

Related Words for carped

grumble, quibble, cavil, knock, criticize, fuss, nitpick, bother, censure, objurgate, peck, reproach, complain, pan

Examples from the Web for carped

Historical Examples of carped

  • Byron sneered and carped at Southey as a "scribbler of all works."

    The Works of Lord Byron, Volume 4

    Lord Byron

  • The Citizen carped at the words, pointing out that a buffet was not a blow.

  • "Reminds me of the providential way that rivers always run past cities, just where they are needed," carped the Colonel.

    Yellowstone Nights

    Herbert Quick

  • Perrault, in his Parallel between the ancients and the moderns, carped at Homer in the same spirit that Zoilus had done of old.

  • As for the cavilling crew who carped at her during her life Mrs. Behn has answered them and she was thoroughly competent so to do.

British Dictionary definitions for carped


  1. (intr often foll by at) to complain or find fault; nag pettily
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Derived Formscarper, noun

Word Origin for carp

C13: from Old Norse karpa to boast; related to Latin carpere to pluck


noun plural carp or carps
  1. a freshwater teleost food fish, Cyprinus carpio, having a body covered with cycloid scales, a naked head, one long dorsal fin, and two barbels on each side of the mouth: family Cyprinidae
  2. any other fish of the family Cyprinidae; a cyprinid
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Related formsRelated adjectives: cyprinid, cyprinoid

Word Origin for carp

C14: from Old French carpe, of Germanic origin; compare Old High German karpfo, Old Norse karfi
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 carped



type of freshwater fish, late 14c., from Old French carpe "carp" (13c.) and directly from Vulgar Latin carpa (source also of Italian carpa, Spanish carpa), from a Germanic source (cf. Middle Dutch carpe, Dutch karper, Old High German karpfo, German Karpfen "carp"); possibly the immediate source is Gothic *karpa. A Danube fish (hence the proposed East Germanic origin of its name), introduced in English ponds 14c. Lithuanian karpis, Russian karp are Germanic loan words.

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"complain," early 13c., originally "to talk," from Old Norse karpa "to brag," of unknown origin; meaning turned toward "find fault with" (late 14c.), probably by influence of Latin carpere "to slander, revile," literally "to pluck" (see harvest (n.)). Related: Carped; carping.

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Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper