carrier car‧ri‧er [ˈkæriə ǁ -ər] noun [countable] TRANSPORT ORGANIZATIONS
a person or company whose job is to transport goods from one place to another:

• national carriers like Pickfords, with their own warehouses and regular clientele

• the American overseas air carrier, United Airlines

ˌbulk ˈcarrier TRANSPORT
a large ship specially designed for carrying goods such as grain and oil that are transported loose, not packed in containers
ˌcommon ˈcarrier TRANSPORT
a carrier that transport S goods from one place to another for any member of the public, and is responsible for any loss of the goods while they are being transported:

• Under U.S. law, an ocean freight forwarder cannot act as a common carrier.

ˌcontract ˈcarrier also ˌpublic ˈcarrier TRANSPORT
a carrier that arranges contracts with a number of producers, dealers etc to transport their goods from one place to another, and who can refuse to transport goods for anyone else
ˌlimited ˈcarrier TRANSPORT
a carrier that transport S only certain kinds of goods
ˌprivate ˈcarrier TRANSPORT
a carrier that used vehicles to transport only their own goods
ˌpublic ˈcarrier TRANSPORT
another name for a contract carrier

* * *

carrier UK US /ˈkæriər/ noun [C]
TRANSPORT a company that transports goods or people from one place to another: »

The company loses fewer drivers because it is a shorter-haul carrier whose drivers are typically away overnight rather than weeks on end.


Sioux Railway is the ninth largest rail carrier in the nation.

TRANSPORT a company that operates aircraft: »

The Dallas-based carrier will offer same-plane service with one or more stops to 27 cities.


Etihad Airways is Abu Dhabi's national carrier.


low-cost/low-fare/no-frills carrier

INSURANCE a company or organization that provides insurance: »

The company will pay $2 million of the settlement, with the rest from its insurance carrier and other parties.

COMMUNICATIONS a company that provides a communications service such as a phone, television, or internet service: »

Number portability allows you to transfer your existing cell phone number to a new carrier.


a mobile/mobile phone/cellphone carrier


In 1984 AT&T became the largest long-distance carrier.

See also BULK CARRIER(Cf. ↑bulk carrier), COMMON CARRIER(Cf. ↑common carrier), CONTRACT CARRIER(Cf. ↑contract carrier), FREE CARRIER(Cf. ↑free carrier), LIMITED CARRIER(Cf. ↑limited carrier), PRIVATE CARRIER(Cf. ↑private carrier), PUBLIC CARRIER(Cf. ↑public carrier)

Financial and business terms. 2012.

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