1. An automobile.
2. A vehicle, such as a streetcar, that runs on rails: a railroad car.
3. A boxlike enclosure for people or cargo on a conveyance: an elevator car.
4. The part of a balloon or airship that carries people or cargo.
5. Archaic A chariot, carriage, or cart.
[Middle English carre, cart, from Old North French, from Latin carra, pl. of carrus, carrum, a Gallic type of wagon; see kers- in the Appendix of Indo-European roots.]
The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fifth Edition copyright ©2020 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.
Indo-European & Semitic Roots Appendices
Thousands of entries in the dictionary include etymologies that trace their origins back to reconstructed proto-languages. You can obtain more information about these forms in our online appendices:
The Indo-European appendix covers nearly half of the Indo-European roots that have left their mark on English words. A more complete treatment of Indo-European roots and the English words derived from them is available in our Dictionary of Indo-European Roots.