General English


  • noun the ground
    Citation ‘Voce, who is usually such a good field, put two possible chances on the carpet when O’Brien was in the thirties and forties’ (Larwood 1933)

Real Estate

  • noun a piece of thick heavy fabric covering the floor of a room or area
  • verb to cover a floor, or the floor of a room, with a carpet


  • noun a period of three months’ imprisonment. This term, dating from the early years of the 20th century, is based on the supposition that it would take three months for an inmate to weave a carpet.
  • noun the sum of £3. In use among gamblers, market traders, etc. This sense of the word may be inspired by the preceding one.

Origin & History of “carpet”

Originally, carpet was simply a sort of rough cloth, and medieval Latin carpīta, e.g., was sometimes used for a garment made from it. In earliest English use it was a ‘table-cloth’ or ‘bed-spread’, and it was not until the 15th century that the specialized ‘floor-covering’ began to establish itself. The word itself entered English via either Old French carpite or medieval Latin carpīta, which was derived from carpīre, an alteration of Latin carpere ‘pluck’ (related to English harvest). The underlying notion seems to be that such cloth was originally made from ‘plucked’ fabric, that is, fabric which had been unravelled or shredded.