/kar"euht/, n.
1. a plant, Daucus carota, of the parsley family, having pinnately decompound leaves and umbels of small white or yellow flowers, in its wild form a widespread, familiar weed, and in cultivation valued for its edible root.
2. the nutritious, orange to yellow root of this plant, eaten raw or cooked.
3. something hoped for or promised as a lure or incentive: To boost productivity, leaders hinted at the carrot of subsidized housing for the workers. Cf. stick1 (def. 8).
4. to treat (furs) with mercuric nitrate preparatory to felting.
[1525-35; < MF carotte < LL carota < Gk karotón, deriv. of káre head, with suffix as in kephalotón onion, deriv. of kephalé head]

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Herbaceous, generally biennial plant (Daucus carota) of the parsley family, that produces an edible globular or long taproot in the first growing season.

Native to Afghanistan and neighbouring lands, it is grown extensively in temperate zones. It is a rich source of carotene. An erect rosette of feathery leaves develops above ground in the first season; the edible carrot is below. After a rest period at temperatures near freezing, large flower stalks arise, bearing large compound umbels.

Carrot (Daucus carota).

Kenneth and Brenda Formanek/EB Inc.

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 (Daucus carota), herbaceous, generally biennial plant of the Apiaceae family that produces an edible taproot. Among common varieties root shapes range from globular to long, with lower ends blunt to long-pointed. Besides the orange-coloured roots, white-, yellow-, and purple-fleshed varieties are known.

      The carrot is native to Afghanistan and neighbouring lands. Wild carrot has become distributed as a weed in Europe, the United States, and other temperate lands. Carrots were cultivated in the Mediterranean region before the Christian Era and in China and northwestern Europe by the 13th century. They are now extensively grown throughout the temperate zones. In the 20th century, knowledge of the value of carotene (provitamin A) has increased appreciation of the carrot, a rich source of the nutrient.

      The plants require cool to moderate temperatures and are not grown in summer in the warmer regions. They require deep, rich, but loosely packed soil. Modern machines sow the seeds thinly in bands to give room for plant development without need for thinning. An erect rosette of doubly compound, finely divided leaves develops above ground normally in the first season. The edible carrot and attached roots are below. After a rest period at temperatures near freezing, large, branched flower stalks arise. The ends of the main stalk and branches bear large compound umbels of tiny white or pinkish flowers. The seeds are one-seeded halves of small spiny fruits called schizocarps. Seeds as purchased for planting have the spines removed.

      Fresh carrots should be firm and crisp, with smooth and unblemished skin. Bright-orange colour indicates high carotene content; smaller types are the most tender. Carrots are used in salads and as relishes and are served as cooked vegetables and in stews and soups.

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Universalium. 2010.

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Look at other dictionaries:

  • carrot — 1530s, from M.Fr. carrotte, from L. carota, from Gk. karoton carrot, from PIE *kre , from root *ker horn, head, so called for its horn like shape. Originally white rooted and a medicinal plant to the ancients, who used it as an aphrodisiac and to …   Etymology dictionary

  • carrot — [kar′ət] n. [MFr carotte < L carota < Gr karōton, carrot; akin to kara, head: see HORN] 1. 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… …   English World dictionary

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  • Carrot — This article is about the cultivated vegetable. For other uses, see Carrot (disambiguation). Carrot …   Wikipedia

  • carrot — noun 1 vegetable ADJECTIVE ▪ raw ▪ cooked, steamed ▪ baby ▪ chopped, diced (esp. BrE), grated …   Collocations dictionary

  • carrot — car|rot [ˈkærət] n [Date: 1400 1500; : French; Origin: carotte, from Late Latin, from Greek karoton] 1.) [U and C] a long pointed orange vegetable that grows under the ground ▪ grated carrots ▪ carrot juice 2.) informal …   Dictionary of contemporary English

  • carrot */ — UK [ˈkærət] / US [ˈkerət] noun Word forms carrot : singular carrot plural carrots 1) [countable/uncountable] a long hard orange vegetable that grows under the ground and has green leaves on its top 2) [countable] informal something that someone… …   English dictionary

  • carrot — /ˈkærət / (say karuht) noun 1. a plant of the umbelliferous genus Daucus, especially D. carota, in its wild form a widespread, familiar weed, and in cultivation valued for its reddish edible root. 2. the root of this plant. 3. an incentive: to… …  

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