or car·rell

[kar-uh l]
See more synonyms for carrel on
  1. Also called cubicle, stall. a small recess or enclosed area in a library stack, designed for individual study or reading.
  2. a table or desk with three sides extending above the writing surface to serve as partitions, designed for individual study, as in a library.

Origin of carrel

1585–95; variant spelling of carol enclosure


[kuh-rel, kar-uh l; French ka-rel]
  1. A·lex·is [uh-lek-sis; French a-lek-see] /əˈlɛk sɪs; French a lɛkˈsi/, 1873–1944, French surgeon and biologist, in U.S. 1905–39: Nobel Prize 1912. Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

Examples from the Web for carrel

Historical Examples of carrel

  • Sir, replied Carrel, I can never regard a duel as a bonne fortune.

    Old and New Paris, v. 1

    Henry Sutherland Edwards

  • Girardin asked Carrel to wait until he also could have a friend present.

    Old and New Paris, v. 1

    Henry Sutherland Edwards

  • Carrel made the fire, boiled the water, and prepared our coffee.

  • She used to sit at Carrel's, and during the pose she would sing.


    George Du Maurier

  • Carrel placed a chair for her before the table and resumed his own.

    A Bed of Roses

    W. L. George

British Dictionary definitions for carrel



  1. a small individual study room or private desk, often in a library, where a student or researcher can work undisturbed

Word Origin for carrel

C16: a variant of carol


  1. Alexis (əˈlɛksɪs; French alɛksi). 1873–1944, French surgeon and biologist, active in the US (1905–39): developed a method of suturing blood vessels, making the transplantation of arteries and organs possible: Nobel prize for physiology or medicine 1912
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 carrel

1590s, "study in a cloister," from Medieval Latin carula "small study in a cloister," of unknown origin; perhaps from Latin corolla "little crown, garland," used in various senses of "ring" (e.g. of Stonehenge: "þis Bretons renged about þe feld, þe karole of þe stones beheld," 1330); extended to precincts and spaces enclosed by rails, etc. Specific sense of "private cubicle in a library" is from 1919.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper

carrel in Medicine


[kə-rĕl, kărəl]Alexis 1873-1944
  1. French-born American surgeon and biologist. He won a 1912 Nobel Prize for his work on vascular ligature and grafting of blood vessels and organs.
The American Heritage® Stedman's Medical Dictionary Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company.