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Word of the Day
Sunday, January 13, 2019

Definitions for carom

  1. to strike and rebound.
  2. to make a carom.
  3. Billiards, Pool. a shot in which the cue ball hits two balls in succession.

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Citations for carom
Over the span of its short life, the company has caromed from self-description to self-description. Franklin Foer, World Without Mind: The Existential Threat of Big Tech, 2017
Her life often caromed like one of the billiard balls clicking in the gaslit parlor below her on the mezzanine of the Bardolph. John Griesemer, Signal & Noise, 2004
Origin of carom
English carom is a shortening and alteration of carambole, as if carambole were in fact carom ball. Carambole is a French word borrowed from Spanish carambola “the red ball in billiards.” Further etymology is fanciful, as might be expected from idle gentlemen idly playing a gentlemanly game of billiards. One suggestion is that Spanish carambola comes from Portuguese carambola, the name of a Southeast Asian ornamental tree and its edible fruit (yellowish green, not red; elliptical, not round). The Portuguese word derives from Marathi karambal (Marathi is spoken in south India in Bombay). Carom entered English in the 18th century.