[ kahr-trij ]
/ ˈkɑr trɪdʒ /


Also called cartouche. a cylindrical case of pasteboard, metal, or the like, for holding a complete charge of powder, and often also the bullet or the shot for a rifle, machine gun, or other small arm.
a case containing any explosive charge, as for blasting.
any small container for powder, liquid, or gas, made for ready insertion into some device or mechanism: an ink cartridge for a pen.
Also called magazine. Photography. a lightproof metal or plastic container for a roll of film, usually containing both the supply and take-up spools, as well as a pressure plate, for rapid loading without the necessity of threading the film.
Audio. pickup(def 8).
a flat, compact container enclosing an endless loop of audiotape, operated by inserting into a slot in a player.

Nearby words

  1. cartoonist,
  2. cartop,
  3. cartophily,
  4. cartopper,
  5. cartouche,
  6. cartridge belt,
  7. cartridge brass,
  8. cartridge clip,
  9. cartridge paper,
  10. cartridge pen

Origin of cartridge

1570–80; earlier cartage, cartrage, alteration of cartouche Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

Examples from the Web for cartridge

British Dictionary definitions for cartridge


/ (ˈkɑːtrɪdʒ) /


Word Origin for cartridge

C16: from earlier cartage, variant of cartouche (cartridge)

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 cartridge



1570s, cartage, corruption of French cartouche "a full charge for a pistol," originally wrapped in paper (16c.), from Italian cartoccio "roll of paper," an augmentative form of Medieval Latin carta "paper" (see card (n.)). The notion is of a roll of paper containing a charge for a firearm. The modern form of the English word is recorded from 1620s. Extended broadly 20c. to other small containers and their contents.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper