Definition of carat in English:



  • 1A unit of weight for precious stones and pearls, now equivalent to 200 milligrams.

    ‘a half-carat diamond ring’
    • ‘It was ‘downsized’ from its original 186 carats to 105.6 carat oval-shaped stone and it currently adorns the Crown of the Queen Mother.’
    • ‘The diamond weighs 103.83 carats, is about the size of a walnut and is expected to fetch between £5 and £6m when it goes under the hammer in Geneva next month.’
    • ‘I looked at her Neimann-Marcus suit and carats upon carats of diamonds and considered how we must look standing there together, me in Reeboks and jeans, gray sweatshirt and red Polartec vest.’
    • ‘Good brown macle twins up to several carats in weight have been available in recent years from the Udachnaya mine.’
    • ‘Most people cannot tell the difference between a ruby and a garnet, which is worth considerably less carat for carat.’
    • ‘GCD is Ghana's main diamond producer and the strike is said to be stopping an average daily output of 500 carats of diamonds worth US $12,500.’
    • ‘Within the gem trade, however, especially among those who deal with diamonds, it is one of the ever-cute 4 Cs: color, clarity, cut, and carats, or carat weight.’
    • ‘The 4 Cs are the characteristics that determine a diamond's value: cut, clarity, colour and carat (weight).’
    • ‘They have finally finished their masterpiece: a necklace that is made up of diamonds with a total weight of 2800 carats!’
    • ‘Considered ‘priceless’, it has an unspecified weight of between two and five carats, according to the British Gemological Institute.’
    • ‘In South Africa, De Beers is forecasting to up production from 12 million carats to 14 million carats with the group's Venetia mine expected to up output from 6.6 million carats to 7.4 million carats.’
    • ‘However, one does not need to be an expert on the Hope Diamond to know that its correct weight is 45.52 carats, a weight that has been accurately reported in reputable scholarly publications for most of the latter half of the last century.’
    • ‘The star lot is a large solitaire diamond weighing 4.50 carats.’
    • ‘Proud inheritor of the magnificent De Beers diamond, at 234.5 metric carats, one of the world's largest, he got Cartier of Paris to create a spectacular five-stringed necklace shaped like a bib to showcase it.’
    • ‘While India processes 120 million carats of diamonds a year, China, on the other hand, does 2.4 million carats which translated into diamond sales is $740 million.’
    • ‘Speaking in an interview in Lusaka yesterday, she said Zambian gemstones were fetching five dollars per carat, equivalent of five grammes, on the West African market.’
    • ‘It was composed of a precious pink sapphire of 20.35 carats, several sapphires, colourful diamonds and natural pearls.’
    • ‘Proctor also describes a 34.7 kg crystal (dubbed the ‘Marta Rocha’ crystal) which ultimately yielded 57,200 carats of dark blue aquamarine.’
    • ‘Larger stones of a carat to three carat still come largely from Israel and Antwerp, and the proportion of Indians selling such stones, though growing, is still small.’
    • ‘Total weight of these additional diamonds is 163 carats.’
  • 2

    chiefly British spelling of karat
    • ‘It was a fourteen karat gold band that was adorned with one large diamond in the center that was accented with one sapphire on either side of the diamond.’
    • ‘Gold's purity is expressed either as fineness or in karats.’
    • ‘He didn't need to ask to know that the gold was not leaf, but real gold, most likely twenty-four karats.’
    • ‘Ninety percent of the store's offerings are gilded in 22 to 23 karats or 12-karat white gold, according to Carroll.’
    • ‘But here's the ultimate: an 18 - karat gold, jewel-studded teddy bear holding a pocket watch that actually chimes every hour.’
    • ‘The 10-inch Bowie knife depicts the bighorn sheep in its native range and is etched and highlighted with 24 - karat gold, copper and silver.’
    • ‘And the store features a line of fine body jewelry - belly button and nose studs - in 14 karat white and yellow gold and sterling silver.’
    • ‘As for the vital stats of the bauble, it is bejewelled with 8,000 diamonds weighing 200 karats, set in over a kilo of 18 - karat pink gold.’
    • ‘It is not accidental that one of the largest segments of India's retail sector is jewelry, or that the standard gold content of items sold there is 22 karats.’
    • ‘For gold, high karats mean intense color but less durability.’
    • ‘Ornate gold necklaces, heavily engraved gold bangles and gold sovereigns - eight grams of pure 22 - karat gold - dance across the television screen.’
    • ‘His pens start at about $100 for a German-made Rotting 800 with a 14 karat gold broad nib, which he machined to give it a calligraphic tip.’
    • ‘Opening it, he showed her a beautiful diamond, surrounded by 14 karat white gold.’
    • ‘On a fourteen karat gold chain was a pendant with a design on it.’
    • ‘The spike, 69 inches long, was similarly computer-designed and machined, in stainless steel plated with 24 - karat gold.’
    • ‘Dubbed, ‘the man with the golden flute’, because of well, his fourteen karat gold flute encrusted with diamonds, Sir James Galway has a storied musical career.’
    • ‘In 1997, a Milanese sculptor designed a new, 18 - karat gold trophy - unimaginatively named the FIFA World Cup trophy.’
    • ‘This was a coin with a guaranteed weight of 8 grammes of 22 - karat gold.’
    • ‘The prizes were the medallion, which was real 18 - karat gold back then, a check for $1,000, and a Yamaha 500 motorcycle.’
    • ‘The ring came out then, one and a quarter karats of diamonds set in fourteen carat gold.’


Late Middle English ( carat (sense 2)): from French, from Italian carato, from Arabic ḳīrāṭ (a unit of weight), from Greek keration ‘fruit of the carob’ (also denoting a unit of weight), diminutive of keras ‘horn’, with reference to the elongated seedpod of the carob.