v. ca·reened, ca·reen·ing, ca·reens
a. To lurch or swerve while in motion: "The Tasmanian boat was a wreck ... the stove had broken free of its mounting and was careening about with every wave" (Bryan Burrough).
b. To move forward rapidly, especially with a swaying motion or with minimal control; career: "I saw my life as a car with no brakes careening down a dangerous mountain road" (Tom Perotta).
a. To lean to one side, as a ship sailing in the wind.
b. To turn a ship on its side for cleaning, caulking, or repairing.
1. To cause (a ship) to lean to one side; tilt.
a. To lean (a ship) on one side for cleaning, caulking, or repairing.
b. To clean, caulk, or repair (a ship in this position).
1. The act or process of careening a ship.
2. The position of a careened ship.
[From French (en) carène, (on) the keel, from Old French carene, from Old Italian carena, from Latin carīna; see kar- in the Appendix of Indo-European roots.]
The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fifth Edition copyright ©2020 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.
Indo-European & Semitic Roots Appendices
Thousands of entries in the dictionary include etymologies that trace their origins back to reconstructed proto-languages. You can obtain more information about these forms in our online appendices:
The Indo-European appendix covers nearly half of the Indo-European roots that have left their mark on English words. A more complete treatment of Indo-European roots and the English words derived from them is available in our Dictionary of Indo-European Roots.