[ kar-ee-on, -awn ]
/ ˈkær iˌɒn, -ˌɔn /
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of a size and shape suitable for being carried onto and stowed in the passenger compartment of an airplane: carry-on luggage.


a piece of carry-on luggage.



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“Was” is used for the indicative past tense of “to be,” and “were” is only used for the subjunctive past tense.

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Origin of carry-on

First recorded in 1950–55; adj., noun use of verb phrase carry on
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2021

Example sentences from the Web for carry-on

British Dictionary definitions for carry-on

carry on

verb (adverb)

(intr) to continue or perseverewe must carry on in spite of our difficulties
(tr) to manage or conductto carry on a business
(intr often foll by with) informal to have an affair
(intr) informal to cause a fuss or commotion

noun carry-on

informal, mainly British a fuss or commotion

adjective carry-on

(of luggage) to be taken inside an aircraft by hand personally by a passenger
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

Idioms and Phrases with carry-on

carry on


Maintain, conduct, as in The villagers carried on a thriving trade, or They carried on a torrid love affair. [c. 1600]


Continue or progress, persevere, as in I'm sure you can carry on without me. [Mid-1600s]


Behave in an excited, improper, or silly manner, as in They laughed and sang and carried on rather noisily. [Early 1800s]


Flirt, engage in an illicit love affair, as in She accused her friend of carrying on with her husband. [Early 1900s]

The American Heritage® Idioms Dictionary Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company.