a. A chosen pursuit; a profession or occupation.
b. The general course or progression of one's working life or one's professional achievements: an officer with a distinguished career; a teacher in the midst of a long career.
2. A path or course, as of the sun through the heavens.
3. Speed: "My hasting days fly on with full career" (John Milton).
Doing what one does as a permanent occupation or lifework: career diplomats; a career criminal.
intr.v. ca·reered, ca·reer·ing, ca·reers
To move forward at high speed, often with minimal control: "that lordly car ... How smoothly it ran. In what style they had come careering along the country roads!" (James Joyce).
[French carrière, from Old French, racecourse, from Old Provençal carriera, street, from Medieval Latin (via) carrāria, (road) for carts, feminine of carrārius, from Latin carrus, a Gallic type of wagon; see kers- 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.