[kar-uh m]


or car·rom

[kar-uh m]
  1. Billiards, Pool. a shot in which the cue ball hits two balls in succession.
  2. any strike and rebound, as a ball striking a wall and glancing off.
verb (used without object)
  1. to make a carom.
  2. to strike and rebound.

Origin of carom

1770–80; by false analysis of carambole (taken as carom ball) < French < Spanish carambola, special use of fruit name; see carambola Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

British Dictionary definitions for carrom


  1. billiards, US and Canadian
    1. a shot in which the cue ball is caused to contact one object ball after another
    2. the points scored by this
    Also called (in Britain and certain other countries): cannon

Word Origin for carom

C18: from earlier carambole (taken as carom ball), from Spanish carambola
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 carrom



1860, from carom (n.). Related: Caromed; caroming.



1779, earlier carambole (1775), from French carambole "the red ball in billiards," from Spanish carombola "the red ball in billiards," perhaps originally "fruit of the tropical Asian carambola tree," which is round and orange and supposed to resemble a red billiard ball; from Marathi (southern Indian) karambal. Originally a type of stroke involving the red ball:

If the Striker hits the Red and his Adversary's Ball with his own Ball he played with, he wins two Points; which Stroke is called a Carambole, or for Shortness, a Carrom. ["Hoyle's Games Improved," London, 1779]
Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper