- a biennial plant (Daucus carota) of the umbel family, with fernlike leaves and compound umbels of white flowers, usually with one red flower in the center: only the cultivated variety is edible
- the fleshy, orange-red root of the cultivated strain of this plant (var. sativa), eaten as a vegetable
- something offered as an inducement, like a carrot dangled before a donkey's nose
Origin of carrotMiddle French carotte ; from Classical Latin carota ; from Classical Greek kar?ton, carrot; akin to kara, head: see horn
carrot and stick
pleasant inducements or promised rewards coupled with threats
- A biennial Eurasian plant (Daucus carota subsp. sativus) in the parsley family, widely cultivated as an annual for its edible taproot.
- The usually tapering, elongate, fleshy orange root of this plant, eaten as a vegetable.
- Queen Anne's lace.
- A reward offered for desired behavior; an inducement: “The U.S. should use a moratorium on SDI development as a carrot to bring an acceptable offensive arms limitation” (C. Peter Gall).
Origin of carrotFrench carotte, from Old French garroite, from Latin car&omacron;ta, from Greek kar&omacron;ton; see ker-1 in Indo-European roots.
(countable and uncountable, plural carrots)
Middle French carotte, from Latin carota.