a plant, Daucus carota, of the parsley family, having pinnately decompound leaves and umbels of small white or yellow flowers, in its wild form a widespread, familiar weed, and in cultivation valued for its edible root.
the nutritious, orange to yellow root of this plant, eaten raw or cooked.
something hoped for or promised as a lure or incentive: To boost productivity, leaders hinted at the carrot of subsidized housing for the workers. Compare stick1 ( def 8 ).
verb (used with object)
to treat (furs) with mercuric nitrate preparatory to felting.

1525–35; < Middle French carotte < Late Latin carōta < Greek karōtón, derivative of kárē head, with suffix as in kephalōtón onion, derivative of kephalḗ head

carat, caret, carrot, karat. Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2014.
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World English Dictionary
carrot (ˈkærət)
1.  See also wild carrot an umbelliferous plant, Daucus carota sativa, with finely divided leaves and flat clusters of small white flowers
2.  the long tapering orange root of this plant, eaten as a vegetable
3.  a.  something offered as a lure or incentive
 b.  carrot and stick reward and punishment as methods of persuasion
[C16: from Old French carotte, from Late Latin carōta, from Greek karōton; perhaps related to Greek karē head]

Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 10th Edition
2009 © William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009
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Word Origin & History

1533, from M.Fr. carrotte, from L. carota, from Gk. karoton "carrot," from PIE *kre-, from base *ker- "horn, head," so called for its horn-like shape. Planted as a garden vegetable by 1609 by Jamestown colonists.
Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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Example sentences
The carrot for the debtor country is securing future access to credit, even at
  a significant risk premium.
Once development gets close to market the oil companies will switch the carrot
If that's the stick then the carrot is the reward of eternal bliss in exchange
  for absolute obedience.
They believe that the only way to get us moving is with the jab of a stick or
  the promise of a carrot.
Image for carrot
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