General English

Cars & Driving

  • noun a drive-in, automatic facility for washing a car
  • noun a car cleaning agent for adding to water, containing a detergent and usually a wax


  • acronym forcomputer assisted retrieval
    (written as CAR)
  • acronym forconstruction, alteration, repair
    (written as CAR)


  • acronym forcurrent address register
    (written as CAR)
  • noun a CPU register that stores the address that is currently being accessed.


  • acronym forcomputer-assisted retrieval
    (written as CAR)

Origin & History of “car”

Car seems first to have been used as an independent term for a road vehicle powered by an internal-combustion engine in 1896, in the publication Farman’s Auto-Cars (the compounds autocar and motorcar are a year earlier). But the word is of course of far longer standing as a general term for a wheeled conveyance. It comes ultimately from an unrecorded Celtic *karros, via Latin carrus ‘two-wheeled wagon’, vulgar Latin *carra, and Anglo-Norman carre or car; it is probably linked with current and course, giving an underlying meaning ‘move swiftly’. English words derived at some point or other from the same source include career, carriage, carry, charge, and chariot.