carry off(redirected from carrying off)
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1. To complete or do something successfully, especially when faced with obstacles. A noun or pronoun can be used between "carry" and "off." I never expected to carry off the party once the caterer suddenly quit, but everyone seems to have had a great time!
2. To steal something. A noun or pronoun can be used between "carry" and "off." I think someone carried off our new porch furniture—it's nowhere in sight! Ethel forgot to put that expensive necklace in the safe, and one of the party guests carried it off.
3. To physically move someone or something away from a certain location. A noun or pronoun can be used between "carry" and "off." Luckily, the lifeguard was able to rescue Dan after the current carried him off.
4. To win a prize or contest. A noun or pronoun can be used between "carry" and "off." Everyone was shocked when that little-known band carried off the night's biggest award.
5. To cause one's death. A noun or pronoun can be used between "carry" and "off." Unfortunately, the injuries from the accident were so severe that they carried him off.
Farlex Dictionary of Idioms. © 2022 Farlex, Inc, all rights reserved.
carry someone or something off
to take or steal someone or something. The kidnappers carried the child off. They carried off the child.
carry something off
1. Lit. to take something away with oneself; to steal something. Someone carried off my books! I think someone carried off the lawn chairs last night.
2. Fig. to make a planned event work out successfully. It was a huge party, but the hostess carried it off beautifully. The magician carried off the trick with great skill.
McGraw-Hill Dictionary of American Idioms and Phrasal Verbs. © 2002 by The McGraw-Hill Companies, Inc.
1. Handle successfully, win, as in It was a difficult situation, but he managed to carry it off gracefully, or They carried off first prize. [First half of 1800s]
2. Cause the death of someone, as in The new African virus carried off an entire village. This usage is less common today. [Late 1600s]
The American Heritage® Dictionary of Idioms by Christine Ammer. Copyright © 2003, 1997 by The Christine Ammer 1992 Trust. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.
1. To pick up something or someone and move away: The wind carried off the balloon. The criminal frowned as the police carried him off.
2. To steal something or someone: The bandits broke into the farmyard and carried off the chickens. The painting was the city's most treasured possession until thieves carried it off.
3. To handle or accomplish something successfully: The performance was unrehearsed, but we carried it off without a problem. The host carried off the event beautifully.
4. To win something, as an award or prize: The film carried off four of the top prizes. The prize was $10,000, and I was determined to carry it off.
5. To cause the death of someone: Heart disease finally carried him off. Many pioneers were carried off by fever.
The American Heritage® Dictionary of Phrasal Verbs. Copyright © 2005 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.