verb (used without object)

to find fault or complain querulously or unreasonably; be niggling in criticizing; cavil: to carp at minor errors.


a peevish complaint.

Nearby words

  1. carotodynia,
  2. carousal,
  3. carouse,
  4. carousel,
  5. carousel fraud,
  6. carp.,
  7. carpaccio,
  8. carpaccio, vittore,
  9. carpal,
  10. carpal joint

Origin of carp

1200–50; Middle English carpen to speak, prate < Old Norse karpa to brag, wrangle

Related formscarp·er, noun Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

Examples from the Web for carper

British Dictionary definitions for carper




(intr often foll by at) to complain or find fault; nag pettily
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

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
any other fish of the family Cyprinidae; a cyprinid
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 carper
Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper