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French Neoclassical carpet, circa 1814-1830
The Ardabil Carpet, circa 1539-1543


From late Middle English carpete, from Old French carpite, from Medieval Latin carpita/Italian carpita, the past participle of Latin carpere (to pluck).



carpet (countable and uncountable, plural carpets)

  1. A fabric used as a complete floor covering.
    • 1913, Mrs. [Marie] Belloc Lowndes, chapter I, in The Lodger, London: Methuen, OCLC 7780546; republished in Novels of Mystery: The Lodger; The Story of Ivy; What Really Happened, New York, N.Y.: Longmans, Green and Co., [], [1933], OCLC 2666860, page 0016:
      A great bargain also had been the excellent Axminster carpet which covered the floor; as, again, the arm-chair in which Bunting now sat forward, staring into the dull, small fire.
    • 1963, Margery Allingham, chapter 1, in 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. (figurative) Any surface or cover resembling a carpet or fulfilling its function.
  3. Any of a number of moths in the geometrid subfamily Larentiinae
  4. (obsolete) A wrought cover for tables.
    • 1655, Thomas Fuller, Church-History of Britain
      Tables and beds covered with copes instead of carpets and coverlets.
  5. (slang, vulgar) A woman's pubic hair.

Usage notes[edit]

The terms carpet and rug are often used interchangeably, but various distinctions are drawn. Most often, a rug is loose and covers part of a floor, while a carpet covers most or all of the floor, and may be loose or attached, while a fitted carpet runs wall-to-wall.

Initially carpet referred primarily to table and wall coverings, today called tablecloth or tapestry – the use of the term for floor coverings dates to the 18th century, following trade with Persia.

Derived terms[edit]

Terms derived from carpet (noun)


  • Japanese: カーペット (kāpetto)


Further reading[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, as a carpet does; to blanket something.
    Popcorn and candy wrappers carpeted the floor of the cinema.
    • 2017, Jennifer S. Holland, For These Monkeys, It’s a Fight for Survival., National Geographic (March 2017)[2]
      The town of Tompasobaru, a six-hour drive from Tangkoko, is known for the fragrant cloves that carpet the front yards of homes, drying on tarps in the sun. But in the town’s open market, the air hung heavy with the metallic smell of the butcher’s wares.
  3. (Britain) 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.


The translations below need to be checked and inserted above into the appropriate translation tables, removing any numbers. Numbers do not necessarily match those in definitions. See instructions at Wiktionary:Entry layout § Translations.





  1. third-person singular future active indicative of carpō