WORD ORIGIN | IDIOMS noun a heavy two-wheeled vehicle, commonly without springs, drawn by mules, oxen, or the like, used for the conveyance of heavy goods. a light two-wheeled vehicle with springs, drawn by a horse or pony. any small vehicle pushed or pulled by hand. . Obsolete a chariot. verb (used with object) to haul or convey in or as if in a cart or truck: to cart garbage to the dump. verb (used without object) Verb Phrases cart , off/ away to transport or take away in an unceremonious manner: The police came and carted him off to jail. Idioms put the cart before the horse, to do or place things in improper order; be illogical. Origin of cart before 900; Middle English cart(e), Old English cræt (by metathesis); cognate with Old Norse kartr cart Related forms cart·a·ble, adjective cart·er, noun un·cart·ed, adjective Can be confused cart carte
Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019
British Dictionary definitions for put the cart before the horse noun a heavy open vehicle, usually having two wheels and drawn by horses, used in farming and to transport goods a light open horse-drawn vehicle having two wheels and springs, for business or pleasure any small vehicle drawn or pushed by hand, such as a trolley put the cart before the horse to reverse the usual or natural order of things verb (usually tr) to use or draw a cart to convey (goods, etc) to cart groceries (tr) to carry with effort; haul to cart wood home Derived Forms cartable, adjective carter, noun Word Origin for cart
C13: from Old Norse
kartr; related to Old English cræt carriage, Old French carete; see car abbreviation for Championship Auto Racing Teams
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition
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Word Origin and History for put the cart before the horse v.
"to carry in a cart," late 14c., from
cart (n.). Related: Carted; carting. n.
c.1200, from Old Norse
kartr or a similar Scandinavian source, akin to and replacing Old English cræt "cart, wagon, chariot," perhaps originally "body of a cart made of wickerwork, hamper" and related to Middle Dutch cratte "woven mat, hamper," Dutch krat "basket," Old English cradol (see cradle (n.)). To put the cart before the horse in a figurative sense is from 1510s in those words; the image in other words dates to mid-14c.
Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
Idioms and Phrases with put the cart before the horse put the cart before the horse
see cart before the horse.
In addition to the idioms beginning with
cart cart before the horse, put the cart off
The American Heritage® Idioms Dictionary
Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company.