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From Old French carpite, from Medieval Latin carpita, the past participle of carpere (to pluck).



carpet (plural carpets) (uncountable and countable)

  1. A fabric used as a complete floor covering.
    • 1963, Margery Allingham, chapter 1, The China Governess[1]:
      The half-dozen pieces […] were painted white and carved with festoons of flowers, birds and cupids. To display them the walls had been tinted a vivid blue which had now faded, but the carpet, which had evidently been stored and recently relaid, retained its original turquoise.
  2. (figuratively) Any surface or cover resembling a carpet or fulfilling its function.
    • Shakespeare
      the grassy carpet of this plain
  3. (obsolete) A wrought cover for tables.
    • T. Fuller
      Tables and beds covered with copes instead of carpets and coverlets.
  4. (slang, vulgar) A woman's pubic hair.

Usage notes[edit]

  • Rug and carpet are not ordinarily strictly synonymous. A rug covers part of the floor; a carpet covers most or all of the floor; a fitted carpet runs wall-to-wall.

Derived terms[edit]



carpet (third-person singular simple present carpets, present participle carpeting, simple past and past participle carpeted)

  1. To lay carpet, or to have carpet installed, in an area.
    After the fire, they carpeted over the blackened hardwood flooring.
    The builders were carpeting in the living room when Zadie inspected her new house.
  2. (transitive) To substantially cover something, like a carpet; to blanket something.
    Popcorn and candy wrappers carpeted the floor of the cinema.
  3. (UK) To reprimand.
    • 1990, Peter Hopkirk, The Great Game, Folio Society 2010, p. 428:
      Even Colonel Yakov, so recently carpeted by St Petersburg, was reported to be back in the Pamirs.


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  1. third-person singular future active indicative of carpō