[ kahr-tn ]
/ ˈkɑr tn /


a cardboard or plastic box used typically for storage or shipping.
the amount a carton can hold.
the contents of a carton.
a cardboardlike substance consisting of chewed plant material often mixed with soil, made by certain insects for building nests.

verb (used with object)

to pack in a carton: to carton eggs for supermarket sales.

verb (used without object)

to make or form cardboard sheets into cartons.

Nearby words

  1. cartograph,
  2. cartographer,
  3. cartographic,
  4. cartography,
  5. cartomancy,
  6. carton-pierre,
  7. cartonnier,
  8. cartoon,
  9. cartoonish,
  10. cartoonist

Origin of carton

1780–90; < French < Italian cartone pasteboard; see cartoon

Related formsun·car·toned, adjective

Can be confusedcarton cartoon Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

Examples from the Web for carton

British Dictionary definitions for carton


/ (ˈkɑːtən) /


a cardboard box for containing goods
a container of waxed paper or plastic in which liquids, such as milk, are sold
  1. a white disc at the centre of a target
  2. a shot that hits this disc

verb (tr)

to enclose (goods) in a carton

Word Origin for carton

C19: from French, from Italian cartone pasteboard, from carta card 1

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 carton



1816, from French carton "pasteboard" (17c.), from Italian cartone "pasteboard," augmentative of Medieval Latin carta "paper" (see card (n.)). Originally the material for making paper boxes; extended 1906 to the boxes themselves. As a verb, from 1921.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper