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carrot and stick

A motivational tactic that uses a reward and punishment system to encourage improved performance or behavior. Companies are slowly learning that the carrot and stick approach to management is ineffective—employees are much more motivated to do a better job when they are recognized for their hard work.
See also: and, carrot, stick

carrot on a stick

A reward that is promised to someone as an incentive to complete some task. It is a variant of "carrot and stick" or "carrot or stick," which refer to both reward and punishment being simultaneously offered/threatened as an incentive to complete a task. The boss offered a 10% bonus as a carrot on a stick to whomever sold the most units by the end of the month. I always allow myself a chocolate bar as a carrot on a stick to motivate me to go to the gym each day.
See also: carrot, on, stick

carrot or stick

An incentivization method in which a reward and a punishment are simultaneously offered/threatened as a motivation to complete some task. It is a variant of "carrot and stick," which means the same. Hyphenated if used as a modifier before a noun. We use the carrot or stick as motivation at this company: you make more money if you sell more units, or your pay gets docked if you don't meet your quota. Some people like it, but I think their carrot-or-stick approach creates a dynamic of fear in employees.
See also: carrot, stick


A person with red (orange) hair. I bet my future child will be a carrot-top. Red hair runs in my family.

dangle a carrot in front of (one)

To try to entice one with the promise of a reward. Dad's going to have to dangle a carrot in front of us if he wants us to clean out the whole garage.
See also: carrot, dangle, front, of

use (something) as a carrot

To use something as an incentive or motivation in order to persuade someone to do something. Companies need to start using better benefit packages as a carrot to keep employees loyal or they will inevitably lose their staff to the competition that offers a better deal. I find that it's better to use rewards as a carrot than threaten punishments when trying to get the kids to behave themselves.
See also: carrot, use

carrot and stick

Reward and punishment used as persuasive measures, as in Management dangled the carrot of a possible raise before strikers, but at the same time waved the stick of losing their pension benefits . This term alludes to enticing a horse or donkey to move by dangling a carrot before it and, either alternately or at the same time, urging it forward by beating it with a stick. [Late 1800s]
See also: and, carrot, stick

carrot and stick

COMMON If someone uses a carrot and stick method to make you do something, they try to make you do it, partly by offering you rewards and partly by threatening you. But Congress also wants to use a carrot and stick approach to force both sides to negotiate an end to the war. With the announcement that the hostages are to be released, it appears that Washington's new carrot-and-stick policy may already have brought results. Note: Carrot and stick are used in many other structures with a similar meaning. Protests continued, however, so the authorities substituted the carrot for the stick. When the Security Council waves a stick at an offending country, the secretary-general can also offer a carrot as encouragement. Note: The idea behind this expression is that an animal such as a donkey can be encouraged to move forward either by dangling a carrot in front of it or by hitting it with a stick. The carrot represents the tempting offer and the stick represents the threat.
See also: and, carrot, stick

dangle a carrot in front of someone


offer someone a carrot

COMMON If you dangle a carrot in front of someone or offer them a carrot, you try to persuade them to do something by offering them a reward. The team have dangled a $17 million carrot in front of the Italian to remain in North America. He is to offer the public a new carrot by reducing petrol prices. Note: The words carrot, dangle and offer are used in other structures and expressions with a similar meaning. Tax cuts may be offered as a carrot to voters ahead of the next election. The money's dangling there like a huge carrot, and you want to grab it. Note: The image here is of someone encouraging a donkey to move forward by holding a carrot in front of it.
See also: carrot, dangle, front, of, someone

use something as a carrot

If you use something as a carrot, you use it to try to persuade a person or people to do what you want. We show our best staff the path they can take to the top of the organization, using that as a carrot for improved performance. Note: Carrot is used in many other expressions to do with persuading people to do things. The player is being offered this huge sum as a carrot to sign on with the club for another few years. Note: The image here is of someone encouraging a donkey to move forward by holding a carrot in front of it.
See also: carrot, something, use

carrot and stick

the promise of reward combined with the threat of force or punishment.
The image in this expression is of offering a carrot to a donkey to encourage it to move and using a stick to beat it if it refuses to budge.
1998 New Scientist And if your powers of persuasion prove insufficient, here's a carrot and stick policy.
See also: and, carrot, stick

the carrot and/or (the) stick

rewards offered to somebody to persuade them to do something or try harder, and/or punishment threatened if they do not: She favoured a carrot-and-stick approach to teaching.
See also: and, carrot, stick

carrot and the stick, the

Reward and punishment. The term alludes to dangling a carrot in front of a horse or donkey to get it to move, and threatening or beating it with a stick. An essay about philosopher John Stuart Mill explains that for Mill’s father, “Praise and blame . . . were to man what carrots or sticks are to a horse or an ass . . . It was this carrot and stick discipline to which Mr. John Mill was subjected.” The term dates from the late 1800s.
See also: and, carrot
References in periodicals archive ?
Give your skin these vegan beauty treats, and enjoy a healthy and glowing skin with The Body Shop's Carrot Range and Totally Tangled Special Edition Range available in all The Body Shop Stores.
Carrots take four months to mature, with the farmer noting he plants them based on demand trends as he analyses the market before farming.
Place celery root and carrots in a large pot, add 6 cups water and bring to a simmer over medium heat.
Thus far, this soup has passed muster with a sampling of carrot soup skeptics.
She further added carrots contain Vitamin A which is good for the eyes and helps children grow and is also good for the bones.
Tindaan said the town's government wanted to showcase the importance of the vegetables by concocting a giant image of a carrot, made of carrot cake.
So I decided to put a layer of coir just under the carrot seeds to see if that would help with keeping them moist.
'This gives us the opportunity to go back to these old carrots and see if there's anything promising,' said Philipp Simon, the USDA plant breeder who has led the carrot program for the past 35 years.
by Courtesy of Artipot Carrot juice can do wonders for your skin.
LAHORE -- Carrot T-29 variety is certified and its production capacity is 16 to 20 maund per acre of land.
There are two very important aspects to producing a carrot juice whose micronutrients - vitamins, minerals, and bioactive phytochemicals (e.g.
Children will particularly enjoy spotting all the carrot references and hidden carrots as well as marvelling at the huge heaps of carrots, all drawn in detail, that Rabbit manages to accumulate.
Fresh carrots (Daucus carota L.), cultivar Nantes, were purchased from a commercial establishment located in Uberlandia state of Minas Gerais, which were grown by the same producer in the region.
The prototype could wash up to three tons of carrots and other root crops in an hour.
Varieties include Veggie Ranch--carrots, celery, and broccoli served with ranch dip; Veggies 4 Kidz--carrots, celery, and cheddar crackers served with ranch dip; Cheddar Trail--carrots, celery, cheddar cheese cubes, and trail mix served with ranch dip; Veggie Hummus--carrots, celery, and broccoli served with hummus; Organic Veggies--organic carrots, organic celery, and organic broccoli served with organic ranch dip; Cheddar Pretzel--carrots, celery, broccoli, cheddar cheese cubes, and pretzels served with ranch dip; and Honey Turkey Cheddar--carrots, broccoli, cheddar cheese cubes, and honey turkey bites served with ranch dip.