from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 5th Edition.

  • noun A woman, especially an old one.

from The Century Dictionary.

  • noun Same as carlino
  • noun See carlin.
  • noun A Russian game of billiards which employs five balls, one of them blue and another black or yellow.
  • noun A piece of timber in a ship, ranging fore and aft from one deck-beam to another, and forming with the beams a framing for the deck-planks to rest upon.
  • noun A transverse iron or wooden bar placed across the top of a railroad-car from side to side to support the roof-boards. Sometimes called a rafter.
  • Belonging to the genus Carlina: as, the carline thistle.
  • noun A kind of thistle, Carlina vulgaris or C. acaulis. See Carlina.

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English.

  • noun A silver coin once current in some parts of Italy, worth about seven cents.
  • noun (Naut.) A short timber running lengthwise of a ship, from one transverse desk beam to another; also, one of the cross timbers that strengthen a hath; -- usually in pl.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License.

  • noun Carline thistle.
  • noun A woman; a hag or witch.
  • noun nautical A piece of squared timber fitted fore-and-aft between the deck beams of a wooden ship to provide support for the deck planking.
  • noun A line of automobiles awaiting access to the same building or similar location.


from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 4th Edition

[Middle English kerling, from Old Norse, from karl, man.]

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

From Old Norse karling, feminine of karl ("carl").

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

car +‎ line



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  • "'He was a carline, was Johnnie Howlat, and folk went wary near him—but they went. Some went by day, for grass cures and graiths, and some went by night, for to buy charms. Ye'll ken the sort?' ...

    I knew the sort of person she meant; some Highland charmers dealt not only in remedies—the 'graiths' she'd mentioned—but also in minor magic, selling lovephilters, fertility potions ... ill wishes....

    Was that what Mrs. Bug was getting at? 'Carline' was not a word I was certain of, though I thought it meant 'witch,' or something like it. She was regarding me thoughtfully, her normal animation quite subdued."

    —Diana Gabaldon, The Fiery Cross (NY: Bantam Dell, 2001), 540–541

    January 21, 2010