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See also: Carrier


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The King of the Doos—the English Carrier [blue black-barred] (also called Old English Carrier, Carrier Pigeon, Carrier)


carry +‎ -er



carrier (plural carriers)

  1. A person or object that carries someone or something else.
    aircraft carrier
    armored personnel carrier
    • Francis Bacon
      The air which is but [] a carrier of the sounds.
  2. A carrier pigeon, a newspaperese term (misnomer) for a homing pigeon, racing pigeon, racing homer, homer.
  3. An Old English carrier pigeon or Old English carrier (the "King of the Doos").
  4. A person or company in the business of shipping freight.
    • Jonathan Swift
      The roads are crowded with carriers, laden with rich manufactures.
  5. A person or animal that transmits a disease to others without itself contracting the disease.
  6. A signal such as radio, sound, or light that is modulated to transmit information.
  7. A mobile network operator; wireless carrier.
  8. An inert material added to an active ingredient to aid in the application and/or the effectiveness of active ingredient.
  9. A certified airline.
    • 2013 Dec. 22, Jad Mouawad and Martha C. White, "[1]," New York Times (retrieved 23 December 2013):
      Southwest, the nation’s largest domestic carrier, is installing seats with less cushion and thinner materials — a svelte model known in the business as “slim-line.”
  10. (engineering) That which drives or carries.
    1. A piece which communicates to an object in a lathe the motion of the faceplate; a lathe dog.
    2. A spool holder or bobbin holder in a braiding machine.
    3. A movable piece in magazine guns which transfers the cartridge to a position from which it can be thrust into the barrel.

Usage notes[edit]

  • The term carrier pigeon is often used, especially in newspaper and magazine articles, for a homing pigeon or racing pigeon that carries messages. Many pigeon fanciers (particularly homer men and homer women) consider this to be a misnomer because the term is outdated and originally referred to the ancestors of present-day Old English carriers. These "carrier pigeons" were formerly used to carry messages before the modern homing pigeon was developed in the 1800s (initially in Belgium and Britain), but is today strictly an exhibition pigeon or show pigeon that has mostly lost its strong homing instinct. The "carrier pigeon" was also one of the breeds used to develop the modern homing pigeon and therefore does have some "carrier blood" in it.[1]

Derived terms[edit]



  1. ^ The Carrier, or certainly the Horseman, was the first breed used in England for message-bearing purposes. The name, “Carrier Pigeon,” is still used today erroneously by many writers, especially in newspapers and periodicals, to describe the true Racing Homer. The Carrier today has been developed into a show bird alone, its homing propensities having long since ceased to be developed. — Wendell M. Levi, The Pigeon, 1941 (Renewed 1968), 1946, 1957, and 1963; p57.