Definition of carotid in US English:



  • Relating to or denoting the two main arteries which carry blood to the head and neck, and their two main branches.

    • ‘Previous studies showed that carotid artery dilatation is a compensatory mechanism in early stages of atherosclerosis.’
    • ‘The catheter is inserted either at the front of the elbow, for investigation of the neck arteries (a carotid angiogram), or in the groin for a coronary angiogram.’
    • ‘People with lower levels of lutein present in their blood, however, did experience carotid artery thickening.’
    • ‘Unfortunately, the carotid pulsations in the neck can easily be confused with jugular pulsations.’
    • ‘Blood was obtained by carotid artery laceration.’
    • ‘As he buttoned up his shirt, I noticed the scar on his neck from previous carotid surgery.’
    • ‘The main concern about carotid angioplasty is the risk of stroke at the time of the procedure.’
    • ‘It is intended for treating carotid artery disease in high-risk patients.’
    • ‘Hypothermia may render the carotid pulse impalpable, but it is important not to start chest compression without evidence of cardiac arrest.’
    • ‘When I arrived at the hospital a patient was already anaesthetised, waiting for me to carry out a carotid angiogram to help diagnose a mass in the neck.’
    • ‘Others have reported that increases in carotid artery diameter are associated with cardiovascular risk factors.’
    • ‘Third, the angle of the needle as depicted increases the risk of carotid artery injury.’
    • ‘In cases of absence of the internal carotid artery, the carotid canal may also be absent.’
    • ‘A clinical diagnosis of carotid artery dissection was made.’
    • ‘The reported cause of death was acute cardiorespiratory arrest as a result of carotid control hold of neck.’


  • Each of the two main arteries that carry blood to the head and neck.

    • ‘Strangles place direct pressure on both the carotid and vertebral arteries.’
    • ‘The transverse facial artery may arise directly from the external carotid artery.’
    • ‘The ancients knew that pressure on the carotids could put someone to ‘sleep’ sometimes permanently.’
    • ‘Palpation of the carotids, thyroid or abdominal organs was impossible.’
    • ‘She laughed as she jammed a thumb into his carotid and he went limp in her hands.’
    • ‘The patients were also given an ultrasound scan of their carotid arteries.’
    • ‘From the aorta these bubbles would have gone straight up the carotids to her brain.’
    • ‘You can check your pulse over your carotid or radial artery.’


Early 17th century: from French carotide or modern Latin carotides, from Greek karōtides, plural of karōtis ‘drowsiness’, from karoun ‘stupefy’ (because compression of these arteries was thought to cause stupor).