Definition of careen in English:



  • 1with object Turn (a ship) on its side for cleaning, caulking, or repair.

    • ‘His biggest day comes when we careen the ship, which happens twice a year.’
    • ‘And the word Carenage itself, which you come across all over the islands, refers to the old place where ships would be careened (weights were attached to the masts to expose the hull so it could be cleaned).’
    • ‘The captain will need our help to careen the ship soon, so he fined us instead of giving us all Mose's law.’
    • ‘He had suspected there was something different about him the day before they started careening the ship but had no proof of what he did suspect.’
    • ‘Well, the four of us are going to discuss plans to careen the ship.’
    • ‘Another model portrayed a more elaborate method of careening a ship using an enormous floating dock with a set of capstans to pull a hull onto one side.’
    • ‘Begin bringing the others ashore and making preparations to careen her here.’
    • ‘He then sailed north to Paracoa Bay where he built a palisade to protect his caravels before he careened them in order to repair their poorly maintained hulls.’
    • ‘La Palma, the provincial capital, was settled in 1853 at a place where boats dry-docked to be careened and provisioned.’
    • ‘That sort of upkeep had always been done between tides, on gently sloped sandy beaches, where the boats were careened and cleaned.’
    1. 1.1no object (of a ship) tilt; lean over.
      ‘a heavy flood tide caused my vessel to careen dizzily’
      • ‘The ship careens in front of the bow and off to the port side.’
      • ‘He felt his body roll as the ship careened and vaguely heard the rumble of explosions nearby, but he didn't come to until smoke forced him coughing to his feet.’
      • ‘He pulled back on the sticks, and the ship careened upward, its belly facing the attacker.’
      • ‘Almost expectantly, he tried to press a button that would apparently shut off one of the propellers and send the boat careening violently off to the left.’
      • ‘Amaiya had to psychically leap out of the way to avoid the ship careening into her.’
      • ‘It careens into a standing wave, stalls at the crest for a moment, then is dumped into the whirlpool behind.’
      • ‘Everyone stood in silent thought as the ship careened into the hull of the Protor and then burst into a huge explosion taking out not only themselves, but also the Protor.’
      • ‘The Confederate frigate shuddered, careening into an uncontrolled yaw.’
      • ‘When she could sleep no more, and her stomach churned from the rocking of the ship, Chérie stumbled from her bed and stumbled clumsily as the ship careened sharply to the left.’
      • ‘Miri gripped the gunwales and held on for dear life as the boat careened from wave to wave, bouncing from rock to hidden rock.’
      lean, tip, list, slope, camber, bank, slant, incline, pitch, dip, cant, bevel, angle, cock, heel, bend, be at an angle
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  • 2North American no object, with adverbial of direction Move swiftly and in an uncontrolled way.

    ‘an electric golf cart careened around the corner’
    • ‘Imagine hurtling down corridors and careening around corners, with no sense of what's in front of you.’
    • ‘And the golf cart almost goes careening off into a ravine.’
    • ‘I was sent careening backwards into a tree, smashing it over.’
    • ‘Extending my arm swiftly causing his body to careen helplessly over some empty tables and land in a heap, brought closure to the altercation.’
    • ‘On May 1 2004, he was manning a checkpoint when a car careened through.’
    • ‘Downhill skiers reach speeds of 80 mph while careening down an icy mountainside.’
    • ‘John had thought of leaping from the jeep just before it collided with the hangar doors, but he couldn't risk the vehicle careening wildly to crash into the Apache.’
    • ‘She screamed in confusion as our rental car lurched through a very real white picket fence, careening down a hill and into an orchard.’
    • ‘Free radicals careen through your bloodstream and indiscriminately plunder unpaired electrons from unsuspecting molecules.’
    • ‘Two men, looking like extras in a movie set in a small lakeside town in northwestern New Jersey, come careening around the corner, eyes popping.’
    • ‘Hey, we've careened across the Gaza coast in a donkey cart during closures of the (area formerly known as) Netzarim Junction, I think we can handle that.’
    • ‘One night while driving in dangerous weather, their car careens off the highway and crashes into a guardrail.’
    • ‘They had made it to the main road in front of the hotel when their car spun out of control and careened into a ditch.’
    • ‘No matter how much she tried to sort out her thoughts, each one sent three or four new ones careening uncontrolled through her mind.’
    • ‘Next the photon would smack into the other electron; on absorbing the photon's energy and momentum, this electron would careen off toward the upper left.’
    • ‘As the heavily loaded semi careened through traffic, cars were smashed and some of the semi's tires blew.’
    • ‘Nathan swung around, his arm just missing Kayden as he bent his knees swiftly, allowing Nathan's arm to go careening over his head.’
    • ‘Brett moved beside him and sent it careening over the net.’
    • ‘I reached the boy as the platform began to rock violently, threatening to send me and him careening into the swiftly moving water.’
    • ‘It careens through barricades and smashes through the side of a building and barrels through apartment after apartment, emerging on the other side.’
    career, plunge, crash, smash, bulldoze, hurtle, cannon, lurch, drive, run
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Late 16th century (as a noun denoting the position of a careened ship): from French carène, from Italian carena, from Latin carina ‘a keel’. Sense 2 was influenced by the verb career.