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[kahr] /kɑr/
an automobile.
a vehicle running on rails, as a streetcar or railroad car.
the part of an elevator, balloon, modern airship, etc., that carries the passengers, freight, etc.
British Dialect. any wheeled vehicle, as a farm cart or wagon.
Literary. a chariot, as of war or triumph.
Archaic. cart; carriage.
1350-1400; Middle English carre < Anglo-French < Late Latin carra (feminine singular), Latin carra, neuter plural of carrum, variant of carrus < Celtic; compare Old Irish carr wheeled vehicle
Related forms
carless, adjective Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2015.
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Examples from the web for cars
  • Antique cars and a party are also part of the festivities.
  • What this photo doesn't capture is the cacophony of construction machinery, guys yelling, and cars honking.
  • The dirt road is suitable for cars-but take it slow.
  • We spend a lot of time considering how cars look from the outside.
  • He buys it to read in the cars, in his leisure hours at home-in the hotel, at all chance moments.
  • Usually tried to tackle them head on, often stopped cars with merciful drivers.
  • The starter presses a hand trigger, and the paddles holding the cars in their ramps slap to the pavement.
  • As complex as the cars may be, the racing couldn't be simpler.
  • Hydra has only one town, no real roads, no cars-not even any bikes.
  • cars will always give you the right of way and everybody will smile and wave at you.
British Dictionary definitions for cars


  1. Also called motorcar, automobile. a self-propelled road vehicle designed to carry passengers, esp one with four wheels that is powered by an internal-combustion engine
  2. (as modifier): car coat
a conveyance for passengers, freight, etc, such as a cable car or the carrier of an airship or balloon
(Brit) a railway vehicle for passengers only, such as a sleeping car or buffet car
(mainly US & Canadian) a railway carriage or van
(mainly US) the enclosed platform of a lift
a poetic word for chariot
Word Origin
C14: from Anglo-French carre, ultimately related to Latin carra, carrum two-wheeled wagon, probably of Celtic origin; compare Old Irish carr


compound annual return
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 cars



c.1300, "wheeled vehicle," from Anglo-French carre, Old North French carre, from Vulgar Latin *carra, related to Latin carrum, carrus (plural carra), originally "two-wheeled Celtic war chariot," from Gaulish karros, a Celtic word (cf. Old Irish and Welsh carr "cart, wagon," Breton karr "chariot"), from PIE *krsos, from root *kers- "to run" (see current (adj.)).

"From 16th to 19th c. chiefly poetic, with associations of dignity, solemnity, or splendour ..." [OED]. Used in U.S. of railway carriages by 1826; extension to "automobile" is by 1896. Car bomb first 1972, in reference to Northern Ireland. The Latin word also is the source of Italian and Spanish carro, French char.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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Slang definitions & phrases for cars



A group of prisoners from the same city or other place; locational clique: All these kids were in the Sacramento car (1980s+ Prison)

Related Terms

funny car, prowl car

The Dictionary of American Slang, Fourth Edition by Barbara Ann Kipfer, PhD. and Robert L. Chapman, Ph.D.
Copyright (C) 2007 by HarperCollins Publishers.
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Related Abbreviations for cars


  1. Carina (constellation)
  2. Carolina Panthers
  3. computer-assisted retrieval
The American Heritage® Abbreviations Dictionary, Third Edition
Copyright © 2005 by Houghton Mifflin Company.
Published by Houghton Mifflin Company. All rights reserved.
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