Definition of cart in English:



  • 1A strong open vehicle with two or four wheels, typically used for carrying loads and pulled by a horse.

    ‘a horse and cart’
    • ‘First, the paper proposes that lost rights of way that can be shown to have once been legally open to horses and carts, animals and pedestrians should be open once again.’
    • ‘There, cows and geese sway and horses pull carts past old men who sit motionless in the shade of a few broad trees.’
    • ‘Shops began to open and street vendors hawked vegetables loaded onto donkey carts.’
    • ‘A horse pulling a cart carrying racegoers was struck by lightning and died and a passenger was killed.’
    • ‘The road passes through beautiful, wild scenery and twice crosses the glacier and on busy days, up to 40 sturdy little Fjord horses pulling traditional cariole carts carry visitors.’
    • ‘Three separate covered carts, pulled by four horses each, came up the drive and stopped in front of the manor.’
    • ‘We set off in an open cart drawn by four whip-scarred little oxen and piled high with equipment and provisions.’
    • ‘The northbound section which opened in 1897 for horses and carts, now carries a daily traffic flow of 50,000 vehicles on its two lanes.’
    • ‘After breakfast the two girls followed Hosh and Darell to the stable where they hitched a wagon cart to two mahogany horses.’
    • ‘Occasionally, a motor wagon would thunder past him, but more often there would be bicycles and horse carts, loaded with goods, or rattling along unburdened.’
    • ‘Not half an hour out, horse-drawn carts haul huge loads of hay across flat fields and peasants stroll to markets.’
    • ‘The lack of street lights, the home made brandy drunk under vines loaded with grapes, and horses and carts in the centre of the villages remind city tourists of how people used to live much closer to nature.’
    • ‘Once everyone was cowering inside a protective ring of wagons, carts, and horses, Hasim breathed a sigh of relief.’
    • ‘Just because it was once open to horse and carts or chariots means they could drive a double-decker bus down it if they wanted to.’
    • ‘He could see the open cart led by two horses atop which stood his Jocelyn in a simple, loose-fitting, white gown.’
    • ‘On the ride back to the guesthouse I asked the young driver of my horse cart what had happened to the old village.’
    • ‘Several passengers were thrown from the carts, with four having to be airlifted to hospital.’
    • ‘Traffic duty consisted of ensuring the roads were not obstructed by horses and carts, hansom cabs and making sure that persons being carried in sedan chairs were transported on the road not on the pavement.’
    • ‘Two shire horses pulled a cart full of waving children, books and bedding and the youngsters were met by the school's junior choir who sang outside the church.’
    • ‘Dunstan had drawn his blade and swung round, the horses pulling the cart rolling their eyes in fright, drawing to a halt.’
    wagon, carriage
    View synonyms
    1. 1.1 A shallow open container on wheels that may be pulled or pushed by hand.
      • ‘Adriana and I both noticed for the first time a stewardess pushing a cart.’
      • ‘Push carts and animal-drawn carts slow down traffic movement.’
      • ‘The woman sat on one side and on the other side placed gifts for her family, while her husband pushed the cart along the rugged path.’
      • ‘Through wind and rain he was to be seen pushing his cart through the village, keeping the place spotless.’
      • ‘She smiled sweetly at me and pushed her cart through and then stood there with her wallet open, waiting silently for me to finish.’
      • ‘The doors opened and the chef walked in, pushing a cart full of platters.’
      • ‘Workers in biohazard suits push a cart of equipment into government offices on Capitol Hill in Washington on Tuesday.’
      • ‘One uncomfortable elevator ride later, Jude and Texas emerged into the busy lobby of the Plaza, pushing their overloaded cart in front of them.’
      • ‘A plain, nondescript man in a chauffeur's uniform approaches them, pushing a cart bearing an aquarium.’
      • ‘She pushed the cart that contained the empty cups of various forms of medication into an empty examination room.’
      • ‘The fruit vendors are pushing their carts, selling ready-sliced watermelon and jackfruit, melon, mango and papaya, best eaten with a banana-leaf wrapped ball of sticky rice.’
      • ‘‘No problem,’ she chirped, and took the opportunity to push the breakfast cart into his room.’
      • ‘The men push and pull carts through the dusty streets of the city.’
      • ‘We left our headquarters, pushing a wooden cart containing our tents and camping equipment plus food all the way to Smithills Hall.’
      • ‘With this rhythmic cry, Duan, in his crumpled old blue suit, pushes a benchlike cart along the street.’
      • ‘I watch men or women pushing carts heavily laden with their wares in searing temperatures, stifling humidity or drenching rain.’
      • ‘Three days ago we ate our first mango of the season, an undistinguished specimen which Mary bought from the fruit lady who pushes her cart past our gate every day.’
      • ‘By day, he has to remain out of sight, but in the evening, he pushes his cart out and chooses a place where he is unlikely to be hassled by the police, and lights up the stove.’
      • ‘There is virtually a glut in the market with vendors pushing their carts around and turning every little space by the roadside into makeshift vending points.’
      • ‘Behind him, the door swung open and a guard pushed a cart into the room.’
      handcart, pushcart, trolley, barrow, wheelbarrow
      View synonyms
    2. 1.2North American A shopping trolley.
      • ‘I push the carts from the parking lot back into the store so old people can take them and push them out back into the lot again!’
      • ‘The woman started pushing her cart down the parking lot, but Joshua followed her.’
      • ‘She strolled the aisle, reading the labels of various jars as she passed, when she accidentally pushed her cart into someone else's.’
      • ‘The boy/robber careened onto the freeway on-ramp, just missing a woman pushing a grocery cart.’
      • ‘He pushes his grocery cart up and down the street in Anderson, Carolina.’
      • ‘I don't care if they become president of the United States or the person in charge of bringing the carts in from the supermarket parking lot.’
      • ‘The message: shoppers who visit the supermarket can waste a lot of money filling up their cart with purchases they had not planned on.’
      • ‘The woman smiled and wandered in with the smallest hint of a limp, pushing a food cart.’
      • ‘Jaws drop at my temerity as I hurriedly push my cart past the line-up.’
      • ‘I headed towards the aisle with all the diary products, pushing my cart and was wondering if there was a party I could go to after dinner when I saw her.’
      • ‘Quick and simple with large graphics, they're designed for mobile shoppers pushing their carts down the aisle.’
      • ‘He lunges at her, knocking a supermarket cart aside.’
      • ‘The foreground clutter of grocery carts and trolleys in this painting is as intricately painted as everything else.’
      • ‘People turn their carts around at the supermarket and look away from me at the bank.’
      • ‘The person behind you in the supermarket runs his cart into the back of your ankle.’
      • ‘I also wheeled people's carts out for them and put the bags in their cars.’
      • ‘Eventine and Erik grabbed the carts and pushed them into the checkout line that Preia had gotten into.’
      • ‘At Target today with Gnat I was pushing the cart around and realized, to my dismay, that we had nothing to get.’
      • ‘She pushed the empty cart past him and went through the Employees Only room.’
      • ‘I thought that the only thing that could destroy my serenity was being hungry, so I went back to the supermarket and started loading up carts with non perishable food.’
      • ‘Enter an old woman pushing a cart of salvaged garbage, TV's, fans, cardboard, etc.’
      • ‘Then it hit me… he is pushing a cart, full of groceries.’
      • ‘Resigned and resolved, she pushed the cart to the back of the line.’
      • ‘I push my cart through the emporium trying to find Carter.’
    3. 1.3 A facility on a website that records items selected by a customer for purchase until the transaction is completed.
      ‘from the product page select the size and quantity you'd like and click ‘Buy’ to add it to your cart’
      • ‘Next, you need to click the 'Buy' button and add the product to your cart.’
      • ‘Research identifies key factors that can cause a customer to abandon their cart mid-purchase.’
      • ‘I have added so much to my cart on there today - I think I am almost up to $900.’
      • ‘Viewers who have already registered on the site will be able to add items to their carts immediately.’
      • ‘Simply add the game to your cart and check out, and voila, it's in your game library for keeps.’
      • ‘I basically had to add and delete certain items from my cart after I entered my groupon voucher to find out if they were eligible.’
      • ‘Get your cart to $25 to get free shipping as well!’
      • ‘A successful display will entice consumers to click though to product pages - the final necessary step for them to add items to their cart.’
      • ‘You must add the item to your cart to see the discount.’


[with object]
  • 1Convey or put in a cart or similar vehicle.

    ‘the meat was pickled in salt and carted to El Paso’
    • ‘In one year it did 90 trips between Helen Springs and Camooweal and according to Vestey company records it travelled about two million miles carting cattle around the outback.’
    • ‘‘I'm hoping to have it set up for carting things around the garden rather than use a wheelbarrow’ he said.’
    • ‘We've been spending all day cutting up fallen branches and carting them away.’
    • ‘One of his three sons Len Watson became a contract carrier in Carnamah and districts - carting wheat, superphosphate, sheep, wool and general freight from 1932-1949.’
    • ‘Dump trucks made over 300 trips carting raw material out before legions of workers began building new stages, stairs, railings and doorways.’
    • ‘Boys carted crates of water in and others hauled workable furniture out on tractors.’
    • ‘It is becoming increasingly urgent that we get collection centres established in order to move small lots of stock off farms which cannot reasonably or viably be carted halfway across the country for slaughter.’
    • ‘To launch Christmas sales, Pam Welburn and her horse Holly, carted the first forest-fresh trees into Dalby yesterday.’
    • ‘Giving their father a pleasant surprise, the trio of sisters secured the contract of carting the boulders from a hillock that's being blasted at Vedadri.’
    • ‘The project will see a special crew, armed with a truck, hunting down and carting away piles of rubbish before firebugs can strike.’
    • ‘During that work he entered into an arrangement with a trucking company that was carting much of the gear for the refinery's upgrade.’
    • ‘The soil in the area has been scarred by numerous heavy loads being carted day in, day out and can no longer be distinguished from its black coal covering.’
    • ‘The meat will then either be carted off to landfills, tossed into incinerators, or set aside for rendering into nonhuman protein sources - i.e., dog and livestock food.’
    • ‘Peter Baum, administration officer with Casino Rural Lands Protection Board, said some landowners in the Malanganee area are already carting water.’
    • ‘The waste collection is entirely mechanized with the trucks using their forklifts to lift the bins and transfer the waste from bin to truck which is carted away to a modern waste processing facility outside town.’
    transport, convey, haul, transfer, move, conduct, transmit, shift, fetch, take, ferry
    View synonyms
  • 2informal Carry (a heavy or cumbersome object) somewhere with difficulty.

    ‘they carted the piano down three flights of stairs’
    ‘weary of carting instruments around, they converted an industrial space into a studio’
    • ‘One of the first things he did was to make sure that the nine hundred tons of ore, which had been raised at Yudanamutana before the drought, were carted to Blinman for smelting.’
    • ‘Heavy equipment related to construction activities is carted through the road when the latter is not meant for such traffic, officials explained.’
    • ‘I've packed light, just in case I have to come straight back home after the gig tonight… in which case I don't need to be carting loads of luggage around with me.’
    • ‘As the trophy is carted off, it is announced that the event has raised a record $3,000 for charity.’
    • ‘And now my shoulder's out from carting heavy record bags all over London.’
    • ‘It hadn't taken much fast talking to get one of the men carting wood up to give us a lift down; I think he was too terrified to argue.’
    • ‘By comparison, the 3G phones, with their big colour screens, are quite a bit more difficult to cart about.’
    • ‘The carry handle makes carting the box very easy, though you'll still need to bring along a display device of some kind, which the company sells separately.’
    • ‘Having just had a baby it is difficult to cart all the bags and boxes into the car when you are busy with the baby.’
    • ‘You can't take the direct approach since this might draw attention to yourself so you must stowaway in the large piece of luggage which the bellhop is carting upstairs.’
    • ‘Cuvier wanted to know whether the pelvic bone had developed any peculiar structures as a result of carting around such a heavy load.’
    • ‘Marble and other massive pieces too heavy to cart away were among chief pieces left in the galleries.’
    • ‘The bits no-one wanted, or which were too big and heavy to cart away would lay there to sink into the vegetation and decay slowly over the years.’
    • ‘It's amazing to me how nonchalant people are about carting their food upon trays to a dirty table where God knows who or what was spilled all over the top.’
    • ‘Electrified, he waited in the shadows until the driver and a Club employee carted a heavy crate inside, then he slipped into the building behind them.’
    • ‘Numerous taxicabs and limousines pulled up to the gilded doorway, dropping off guests while young bellboys carted luggage up the service elevator to various suites.’
    • ‘Though his truck is a picture of driving comfort, Mr McAuliffe is far from lax about the responsibilities he carries in carting thousands of litres of fuel across the Mid West countryside.’
    • ‘And if all goes wrong, the gear is transportable, the dust proof boxes housing the main components even have slots for fork lifts, and it can all be carted away.’
    • ‘He said: ‘The lift is not suitable for carting beds up and down and there is no defibrillation equipment which is essential in case there is an emergency.’’
    • ‘They'll use the wire to slice the tanker up into sections and then lift up each one so it can be carted off for scrap.’
    lift, lift up, raise, raise up, heave, hoist, haul, manhandle
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    1. 2.1 Remove or convey (someone) somewhere roughly or abruptly.
      ‘they were carted off to the nearest police station’
      ‘seven demonstrators were carted away by the police’
      ‘my mother carted us around from one activity to another’
      • ‘Three young women are carted off from their homes at the beginning of The Magdalene Sisters, a new film from director Peter Mullan.’
      • ‘I'm also having a lot of fun putting her in her backpack and carting her around.’
      • ‘When we got there they put me in a wheelchair and carted me off to a room.’
      • ‘He is unceremoniously carted around in a plastic urn inside a carrier bag which nervously changes hands between them.’
      • ‘Indeed, these days most time is spent carting the kids to and from school.’
      • ‘Declared in June, the date falls on the anniversary of Wallenberg's 1945 arrest, when he was carted off by Soviets to eventually die somewhere, it is believed, in the Gulag archipelago.’
      • ‘We were carted off to the hospital in field ambulances.’
      • ‘‘It was just terrible,’ she winces, recalling how she was carted off to casualty.’
      • ‘They carted me off to Emergency, where the doctors and nurses, once they determined I wasn't likely to die abruptly on them, ignored me.’
      • ‘This, though, did not stop us from crying whenever he was carted off to spend August vacations with his mother in Moruga.’
      • ‘My Luskin ancestors were Polish Jews, most of whom remained in Poland at the time Hitler invaded and started carting Polish Jews off to the furnaces.’
      • ‘When other mothers were carting their children around in what I saw as a desperate attempt to pretend nothing had changed in their lives, I was/am a stickler for the nap schedule.’
      • ‘He said that, when the firing stopped, he saw people being carted off in ambulances to hospital.’
      • ‘And just like many other mothers, my mother carted us around from one activity to another encouraging us to discover our interests and talents.’
      • ‘Before I reached the age when I convinced Mother that indeed I could and would rather stay at our house alone in the summer, she carted me to Ruthie's every day.’
      • ‘I was a very jolly and entertaining drunk until I was carted off to hospital with pancreatitis three years ago.’
      • ‘The police entered, removed him from a closet where he had sought refuge, handcuffed and carted him off in front of 15 patrol cars and countless neighbours.’
      • ‘He asks two club-goers outside what has happened, and they tell him that someone has been beaten in the side alley, that an ambulance has carted him off.’
      • ‘For a chancellor to leak out details of his Budget ahead of the day it was due to be presented to the House of Commons would have led to the offending politician being carted off the Tower of London.’
      • ‘Then Christmas came and I was carted off for a week by my brother and sister-in-law.’
      take away, carry away, move, shift, convey, transport
      View synonyms
    2. 2.2Cricket Hit (the ball) with a powerful stroke that sends it a long way.
      ‘he carted Sinfield for six’
      • ‘Needing 11 off the last two balls, Pollock carted counterpart Jayasuriya for a six but was unable to repeat that off the final delivery.’
      • ‘Srinath too proved that he is no slouch, carting the ball to all parts in his 40-ball stay at the wicket.’
      • ‘Hamish Marshall followed for 6 and it took Craig McMillan, who carted 33 off 35 balls, to lift New Zealand past 250.’
      • ‘One Kaneria delivery that was sighted early was carted over midwicket, the next pushed down the ground for four.’
      • ‘He carted pace bowler Shane Bond for a huge six over his head before being dropped at mid-off by Mark Richardson.’


  • in the cart

    • informal In trouble or difficulty.

      ‘if he didn't finish the round the whole team would be in the cart’
      • ‘Once he did that he put himself in the cart and he was always on a hiding to nothing.’
      • ‘So now you know why British manufacturing is in the cart.’
  • put the cart before the horse

    • Reverse the proper order or procedure of something.

      • ‘Co-opted committee member John Clancy said: ‘It seems a little like putting the cart before the horse.’’
      • ‘Kerry County Council has been accused of putting the cart before the horse when it comes to planned developments in villages across the county.’
      • ‘It is surely a case of putting the cart before the horse,’ said Dr Caulfield.’
      • ‘But simply pursuing a high participation rate without pausing to think what it means is putting the cart before the horse.’
      • ‘And of course, leaping ahead to some possible jury trial, a possible conviction is really putting the cart before the horse.’
      • ‘By passing the tax cut before passing a budget, are you essentially putting the cart before the horse?’
      • ‘It is really a classic example of putting the cart before the horse.’
      • ‘Iain says: ‘The authorities are putting the cart before the horse.’’
      • ‘At best, Marx and Engels thought, this was putting the cart before the horse, since the job of planning a new society will belong to those who make one.’
      • ‘Is designing a new building before a strategic plan is in place putting the cart before the horse?’


Middle English: from Old Norse kartr, probably influenced by Anglo-Norman French and Old Northern French carete, diminutive of carre (see car).