9 Grammatical Pitfalls


[kar-uh t] /ˈkær ət/
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.
Origin of carrot
1525-35; < Middle French carotte < Late Latin carōta < Greek karōtón, derivative of kárē head, with suffix as in kephalōtón onion, derivative of kephalḗ head
Can be confused
carat, caret, carrot, karat. Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2015.
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Examples from the web for carrot
  • 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 again.
  • 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.
  • That's a rather small carrot for more than a handful of conscientious souls.
  • It's not the stick that drives them on, it's the carrot.
  • Barrels of ink recounted all of the carrot and none of the stick.
  • Willy's good behavior depends on an appreciation of his innate disposition and a judicious balance of carrot and stick.
  • She holds one hand flat as instructed, the brown carrot there, a gift from the driver.
  • The chicken was paired with a gummy wad of skinny noodles and some carrot slivers.
British Dictionary definitions for carrot


an umbelliferous plant, Daucus carota sativa, with finely divided leaves and flat clusters of small white flowers See also wild carrot
the long tapering orange root of this plant, eaten as a vegetable
  1. something offered as a lure or incentive
  2. carrot and stick, reward and punishment as methods of persuasion
Word Origin
C16: from Old French carotte, from Late Latin carōta, from Greek karōton; perhaps related to Greek karē head
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
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Word Origin and History for carrot

1530s, from Middle French carrotte, from Latin carota, from Greek karoton "carrot," probably from PIE *kre-, from root *ker- "horn, head" (see horn (n.)); so called for its horn-like shape.

Originally white-rooted and a medicinal plant to the ancients, who used it as an aphrodisiac and to prevent poisoning. Not entirely distinguished from parsnips in ancient times. Reintroduced in Europe by Arabs c.1100. The orange carrot, which existed perhaps as early as 6c., probably began as a mutation of the Asian purple carrot and was cultivated into the modern edible plant 16c.-17c. in the Netherlands. Thus the word is used as a color name but not before 1670s in English, originally of red hair.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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