put the cart before the horse


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)
to drive a cart.
Verb phrases
cart off/away, to transport or take away in an unceremonious manner: The police came and carted him off to jail.
on the water cart, British, wagon ( def 14 ).
put the cart before the horse, to do or place things in improper order; be illogical.

before 900; Middle English cart(e), Old English cræt (by metathesis); cognate with Old Norse kartr cart

cartable, adjective
carter, noun
uncarted, adjective

cart, carte.
Dictionary.com Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2014.
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World English Dictionary
cart1 (kɑːt)
1.  a heavy open vehicle, usually having two wheels and drawn by horses, used in farming and to transport goods
2.  a light open horse-drawn vehicle having two wheels and springs, for business or pleasure
3.  any small vehicle drawn or pushed by hand, such as a trolley
4.  put the cart before the horse to reverse the usual or natural order of things
5.  (usually tr) to use or draw a cart to convey (goods, etc): to cart groceries
6.  (tr) to carry with effort; haul: to cart wood home
[C13: from Old Norse kartr; related to Old English cræt carriage, Old French carete; see car]

cart2 (kɑːt)
radio, television short for cartridge

abbreviation for
Championship Auto Racing Teams

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

c.1200, from O.N. kartr, akin to O.E. cræt "chariot," perhaps orig. "body of a cart made of wickerwork, hamper;" related to O.E. cradol (see cradle). The verb meaning "to carry in a cart" is from c.1440.
Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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American Heritage
Abbreviations & Acronyms
  1. Championship Auto Racing Team

  2. cocaine- and amphetamine-regulated transcript

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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Bible Dictionary

Cart definition

a vehicle moving on wheels, and usually drawn by oxen (2 Sam. 6:3). The Hebrew word thus rendered, _'agalah_ (1 Sam. 6:7, 8), is also rendered "wagon" (Gen. 45:19). It is used also to denote a war-chariot (Ps. 46:9). Carts were used for the removal of the ark and its sacred utensils (Num. 7:3, 6). After retaining the ark amongst them for seven months, the Philistines sent it back to the Israelites. On this occasion they set it in a new cart, probably a rude construction, with solid wooden wheels like that still used in Western Asia, which was drawn by two milch cows, which conveyed it straight to Beth-shemesh. A "cart rope," for the purpose of fastening loads on carts, is used (Isa. 5:18) as a symbol of the power of sinful pleasures or habits over him who indulges them. (See CORD.) In Syria and Palestine wheel-carriages for any other purpose than the conveyance of agricultural produce are almost unknown.

Easton's 1897 Bible Dictionary
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American Heritage
Idioms & Phrases

put the cart before the horse

see cart before the horse.

The American Heritage® Dictionary of Idioms by Christine Ammer.
Copyright © 1997. Published by Houghton Mifflin.
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Idioms & Phrases
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