See also: Carol


Etymology 1Edit

The first page of the score of Gaudete (Latin for “rejoice”), a sacred Christmas carol published in Piae Cantiones (1582)[1]

From Middle English carole, from Old French carole, from Old Italian carola, from Medieval Latin choraula, a variant of choraulēs (flute player accompanying a chorus dance), from Ancient Greek χοραυλής (khoraulḗs, one who accompanies a chorus on the flute), from χορός (khorós, choir; dance) (possibly from Proto-Indo-European *ǵʰer- (to enclose) or *ǵʰoros) + αὐλός (aulós, flute) (from Proto-Indo-European *h₂ewlos (tube)). Compare chorus, terpsichorean.



carol (plural carols)

  1. (historical) A round dance accompanied by singing.
  2. A ballad or song of joy.
    1. (specifically) A (usually traditional) religious or secular song sung at Christmastime.
      They sang a Christmas carol.
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carol (third-person singular simple present carols, present participle (UK) carolling or (US) caroling, simple past and past participle (UK) carolled or (US) caroled)

  1. (intransitive, historical) To participate in a carol (a round dance accompanied by singing).
    • 1990, Christopher Page, “Jeunesse and the Courtly Song Repertory”, in The Owl and the Nightingale: Musical Life and Ideas in France 1100–1300, 1st U.S. edition, Berkeley; Los Angeles, Calif.: University of California Press, →ISBN, page 91:
      You might see the townsmen and the ladies carolling in the squares, squires and serjans and young girls singing; there is no street and no house to be found there that is not adorned with hangings of gold and silk.
  2. (intransitive) To sing in a joyful manner.
  3. (intransitive) To sing carols; especially to sing Christmas carols in a group.
    • 2012, Patrena Dawkins-Anderson, chapter 8, in Chongtu: Conflict, Pittsburgh, Pa.: Red Lead Press, →ISBN, page 48:
      Christmas morning was welcomed by services in some churches. Everyone in the Bingham house, along with other church members, went carolling at five o'clock in the morning, which culminated in the Christmas message at the church, delivered by the pastor. Everyone's heart was blessed.
    • 2014, Christmas at Grandma’s, Columbus, Oh.: Gooseberry Patch, →ISBN, page 80:
      Gather up the neighbor kids and go caroling around the neighborhood … just for the joy of singing together!
  4. (transitive) To praise or celebrate in song.
    • 1634 October 9 (first performance), [John Milton], H[enry] Lawes, editor, A Maske Presented at Ludlow Castle, 1634: [] [Comus], London: [] [Augustine Matthews] for Hvmphrey Robinson, [], published 1637, →OCLC; reprinted as Comus: [] (Dodd, Mead & Company’s Facsimile Reprints of Rare Books; Literature Series; no. I), New York, N.Y.: Dodd, Mead & Company, 1903, →OCLC, lines 842–851, page 29:
      [S]till ſhe [Sabrina, a water nymph] retaines / Her maiden gentleneſſe, and oft at eve / Viſits the heards along the twilight meadows, / Helping all urchin blaſts, and ill lucke ſignes, / That the ſhrewd medling elfe delights to make, / Which ſhe with precious viol'd liquors heales; / For which the ſhepheards at their feſtivalls / Carroll her goodneſſe lowd in ruſticke layes, / And throw ſweet garland wreaths into her ſtreame / Of pancies, pinks, and gaudie daffadills.
  5. (transitive) To sing (a song) cheerfully.
    • 1656, T. S., “The Third Month Called May hath xxxj Dayes”, in An Almanack for the Year of Our Lord 1656. Being First after Leap Year; and from the Creation 5588. [...] Calculated for the Longitude of 315 gr: and 42 gr: 30 min. of N. Lat: and may Generally Serve for the Most Part of New England, Cambridge, Mass.: Printed by Samuel Green, →OCLC:
      Now Sol hath ſcap't the Oxes horn, / The Ram, the winds, the ſtormes, and harms; / The loving Twins by Leda born, / Will entertain him in their arms. / And Flora ſmiles to feel thoſe beams / Which whilom were with-drawn ſo long. / The pratling birds, the purling ſtreams / Do carroll forth her wedding ſong.
    • 1719, Mat[thew] Prior, “The Second Hymn of Callimachus to Apollo”, in Poems on Several Occasions, Dublin: Printed for J. Hyde in Dame-street, R. Gunne in Caple-street, R. Owen in Skinner-row, and E. Dobson in Castle-street, booksellers, →OCLC, page 222:
      Why do the Delian Palms incline their Boughs, / Self-mov'd; and hov'ring Swans, their Throats releas'd / From native Silence, carol Sounds harmonious?
    • 1774, William Richardson, “Runny Mead”, in Poems, Chiefly Rural, Glasgow: Printed by Robert & Andrew Foulis, printers to the University, →OCLC, page 64:
      [...] Ye villagers rejoice; / And ye who cultivate the fertile glebe / Carrol the gladſome ſong. For you the plain / Shall wave with wheaten harveſts; and the gale / From blooming bean-fields ſhall diffuſe perfume.
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Etymology 2Edit

See carrel.


carol (plural carols)

  1. (architecture) Alternative form of carrel (small closet or enclosure built against a window on the inner side, to sit in for study).
    • [1822, Edward James Willson, comp., “Carol, or Carrel”, in A Glossary of Technical Terms, Descriptive of Gothic Architecture: Collected from Official Records, Passages in the Works of Poets, Historians, &c. of a Date Contemporay with that Style: And Collated with the Elucidations and Notes of Various Commentators, Glossarists, and Modern Editors. To Accompany the Specimens of Gothic Architecture, by A[gustus] Pugin, – Architect, 3rd edition, London: Printed for J[ohn] Taylor, Architectural Library, 59, High Holborn; J. Britton, Burton Street; and A. Pugin, 34, Store Street, →OCLC, pages 2–3:
      Carol, or Carrel. A little pew, or closet, in a cloister, to sit and read in. They were common in greater monasteries, as Duram, Gloucester, Kirkham in Yorkshire, &c.; and had their name from the carols, or sentences inscribed on the walls about them, which often were couplets in rhyme. [Carola, Low Latin.]]
    • 1860, Mackenzie Walcott, “[The Abbeys of Scotland.] Melrose”, in The Minsters and Abbey Ruins of the United Kingdom: Their History, Architecture, Monuments, and Traditions; with Notices of the Larger Parish Churches and Collegiate Chapels, London: Edward Stanford, 6, Charing Cross, →OCLC, page 257:
      An exquisite south-east door is preserved; it is round-headed, of four orders, with a foliated label. A canopied carol or monk's seat, a Pointed crocketed arch within a square case, is seen beside it, succeeded on the south wall by an arcade of trefoiled arches with toothed mouldings.


  1. ^ [Jacobus Finno] (1582) Piæ cantiones ecclesiasticæ et scholasticæ vetervm episcoporum, in inclyto regno Sueciæ passim vsurpatæ, nuper studio viri cuiusdam reuerendiss: de ecclesia Dei & schola Aboënsi in Finlandia optimè meriti accuratè à mendis correctæ, & nunc typis commissæ, opera Theodorici Petri Nylandensis. His adiecti sunt aliquot ex psalmis recentioribus [Pious Ecclesiastical and School Songs of the Ancient Bishops, Used throughout the Glorious Kingdom of Sweden, Recently Accurately Corrected from Mistakes by the Study of a Very Respectable Man of Great Merit of the Church of God and the Aboensian School in Finland, and now Committed to Typography, by the Work of Theodoricus Petrus of Nyland. Some of the More Recent Psalms were Added to These.], Greifswald: [Theodoricus Petri Rutha of Nyland]; imprimebatur Gryphisuualdiæ, per Augustinum Ferberum [printed in Greifswald, by Augustine Ferber], →OCLC.

Further readingEdit




carol m (plural caroli) or carol m (plural carułi)

  1. woodworm
  2. dental caries

Related termsEdit