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to behave badly or mischievously. The children always carry on when the teacher's out of the room. Stop carrying on and go to sleep!
(about someone or something) to make a great fuss over someone or something; to cry (especially for a long time or uncontrollably) about someone or something. (Note the variation in the examples.) Billy, stop carrying on about your tummy ache like that. The child carried on endlessly when his mother scolded him. When the soldier finally came home, his wife cried and carried on for hours. Calm down. There's no need to carry on so.
(to something) to continue on to some place or some time. Please keep reading. Carry on to the next page. Please carry on with your report.
(with someone) to flirt with someone; to have a love affair with someone. It looks like Linda is carrying on with James.
carry on (with something)
to continue doing something. (Compare this with carry something on.) Please carry on with your singing. Tom carried on with his boring speech for twenty minutes.
carry something on
1. to do something over a period of time. (Compare this with carry on (with something.) Do you think you can carry this on for a year? I will carry on this activity for three years if you want.
2. to continue to do something as a tradition. We intend to carry this celebration on as long as the family can gather for the holidays. We will carry on this tradition for decades, in fact.
3. Go to carry something onto something.
1. to continue to do or be involved in something Dianne is carrying on the family tradition by becoming a lawyer. It's hard to carry on a business and take care of a small child at the same time.
2. to continue behaving in a particular way You've got to carry on as though nothing happened.
3. to behave in a manner that is not controlled The kids have been carrying on all day.
4. to continuously complain about something My grandmother carried on about the bad language she hears on TV.
1. Maintain, conduct, as in The villagers carried on a thriving trade, or They carried on a torrid love affair. [c. 1600]
2. Continue or progress, persevere, as in I'm sure you can carry on without me. [Mid-1600s]
3. Behave in an excited, improper, or silly manner, as in They laughed and sang and carried on rather noisily. [Early 1800s]
4. Flirt, engage in an illicit love affair, as in She accused her friend of carrying on with her husband. [Early 1900s]
1. To continue or resume doing something: After speaking with us briefly, the captain told us to carry on, and we went back to work. Our class is proud to carry on the university's tradition of academic excellence.
2. To maintain something: The cabinetmaker has carried on a thriving business for the past 50 years.
3. To engage in something: Archaeological evidence suggests that the two communities carried on an active trade for centuries.
4. To persevere: Despite protests from our families, we carried on with our plans to marry.
5. To behave in an excited, improper, or silly manner: The bar was full of old friends making toasts and carrying on.
6. carry on about To complain vocally about someone or something: We were all tired of listening to him carrying on about his personal problems.
7. carry on with To flirt with someone: The maids gossiped that the lady of the house had been carrying on with the gardener.