Definition of carom in US English:



North American
  • 1A stroke in which the cue ball strikes two balls successively.

    • ‘He mastered the caroms, and was called the ‘Reading Rifle’ because of his great arm.’’
    • ‘The result: the kind of crazy caroms and tricky spins you'd expect from a pinball machine.’
    1. 1.1 A billiards game played on a table without pockets, with points scored for caroms.
      • ‘The name of the game is carom, the original game from which billiards and later snooker developed.’


[no object]North American
  • Make a carom; strike and rebound.

    • ‘Ilham almost found the Saudi net with his free header in the 42nd minute after receiving a good cross from the right side, but the ball caromed off the crossbar.’
    • ‘Its fairways often are bordered by gentle slopes that carom the ball back toward the fairway.’
    • ‘It hit the leftfield wall, caromed around the outfield, and the left fielder picked up the ball.’
    • ‘The ball, however, made contact with umpire Paul Runge, who was positioned on the infield side, and it caromed into short left field behind the shortstop.’
    • ‘The puck caromed off another spectator before hitting Cecil, whose seat was more than 100 feet behind the glass.’
    • ‘It caromed to the left, barely missing Elijah's thigh and clipping the wall behind him, creating an impact circle the size of a thumb.’
    • ‘The ball hit the base runner and caromed into the hands of the second baseman who threw the batter/runner out.’
    • ‘In the bottom of the fifth inning, Manny Ramirez hit a shot down the third base line that caromed off the stands and struck Gerry Davis, the left field line umpire.’
    • ‘The holes are situated in valleys and are very user-friendly: Nearly every tee is elevated and wayward drives carom safely back into play.’
    • ‘With five seconds left, James missed a free throw, which caromed off to the left side.’
    • ‘But the ball caromed off a tree and bounced back into a bunker, leaving a shot at the green.’
    • ‘The ball then caromed back toward the line of scrimmage.’
    • ‘Instead of removing the ball from harm's way, it caromed off her foot and dribbled into the open goal.’
    • ‘The ball hopped hard to the right, nowhere to go but out of bounds, until it caromed off the 7cm wide post and back into play.’
    • ‘We saw one ball bounce off it during a pitcher's warm-up, and it caromed past the mound almost to the first baseman's position!’
    • ‘She hurled it at the ant, and the stone caromed off the carapace.’
    • ‘The ball tended to carom off those thick flagsticks, too.’
    • ‘The ball crashed off the center field wall before caroming back onto the outfield grass.’
    • ‘The ball caromed off his forehead into the hands of shortstop Bill Knickerbocker.’
    • ‘As Appling reached down for the ball, it took a bad hop and caromed off his shoulder.’
    ricochet, rebound, be deflected
    View synonyms


Late 18th century: abbreviation of carambole, from Spanish carambola, apparently from bola ‘ball’.