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

  1. a piece of carry-on luggage.

Origin of carry-on

First recorded in 1950–55; adj., noun use of verb phrase carry on

Words Nearby carry-on Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2023

How to use carry-on in a sentence

  • I was convinced that she would carry-on all night like a forgotten dachshund, unless she was released.

    The Van Dwellers | Albert Bigelow Paine
  • "It's a fine carry-on this," said the Cornal, breaking the silence.

    Gilian The Dreamer | Neil Munro
  • It was just her way of doing the carry-on for Aunt Clara Lamar.

    The House of Torchy | Sewell Ford

British Dictionary definitions for carry on

carry on

  1. (intr) to continue or persevere: we must carry on in spite of our difficulties

  2. (tr) to manage or conduct: to carry on a business

  1. (intr often foll by with) informal to have an affair

  2. (intr) informal to cause a fuss or commotion

  1. informal, mainly British a fuss or commotion

  1. (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

Other Idioms and Phrases with carry-on


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

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