carat (n.) mid-15c., from M.Fr. carat "measure of the fineness of gold" (14c.), from It. carato, from Arabic qirat "pod, husk, weight of 4 grains," from Gk. keration "carob seed," lit. "little horn" dim. of keras "horn" (see KERATO- (Cf. kerato-)).
Carob beans were a standard for weighing small quantities. As a measure of diamond weight, from 1570s. The Greek measure was the equivalent of the Roman siliqua, which was one-twentyfourth of a golden solidus of Constantine; hence the word took on a sense of "a proportion of one twentyfourth" and became a measure of gold purity (1550s). Eighteen carat gold is eighteen parts gold, six parts alloy. It is unlikely that the classical carat was ever a measure of weight for gold.

Etymology dictionary. 2014.

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  • carat — [ kara ] n. m. • 1355; it. carato, ar. qîrât « petit poids »; gr. keration « tiers d obole » 1 ♦ Chaque vingt quatrième d or fin contenu dans une quantité d or. Or à dix huit carats. 2 ♦ Métrol. Unité de mesure de masse valant 0,2 gramme,… …   Encyclopédie Universelle

  • Carat — or karat may refer to:In the gem business: * Carat (mass), a unit of mass for gemstones, equal to 0.2 gram * Carat (purity) or karat, a unit of purity for goldIn entertainment: * Carat (board game), an abstract tile based German style board game… …   Wikipedia

  • carat — CARÁT, carate, s.n. 1. Indice pentru conţinutul relativ în aur al aliajelor acestuia, egal cu a 24 a parte din masa totală. 2. Unitate de măsură a greutăţii pietrelor preţioase, egală cu 0,2 grame. [var.: carátă s.f.] – Din fr. carat. Trimis de… …   Dicționar Român

  • Carat — Car at (k[a^]r [a^]t), n. [F. carat (cf. It. carato, OPg. quirate, Pg. & Sp. quilate), Ar. q[imac]r[=a]t bean or pea shell, a weight of four grains, a carat, fr. Gr. kera tion a little horn, the fruit of the carob tree, a weight, a carat. See… …   The Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • carat — car‧at [ˈkærət] noun [countable] 1. also karat a measurement used to show how pure gold is: • a 22 carat gold chain 2. a measurement equal to 200 Milligrams on the scale of measurement for the weight of jewels …   Financial and business terms

  • Carat UK — is a leading independent British media agency based in Covent Garden, London. It currently holds the Media Week (a leading UK industry publication) award for Agency of the Year and it the only agency to retain this title for two years in a row.… …   Wikipedia

  • carat — CARAT. s. m. Certain titre, certain degré de bonté et de perfection dans l or. Il ne se dit point des autres métaux. De l or à vingt carats, au vingt et unième carat. Il n y a point dans le commerce, d or à vingt quatre carats. f♛/b] On dit… …   Dictionnaire de l'Académie Française 1798

  • cărat — CĂRÁT s.n. 1. Acţiunea de a (se) căra; transport de materiale (în cantitate mare). 2. Timpul când se cară fânul sau recolta. – v. căra. Trimis de valeriu, 13.09.2007. Sursa: DEX 98  CĂRÁT s. cărare, ducere, dus, purtare, transport, transportare …   Dicționar Român

  • carat — CARAT. s. m. Certain degré de bonté & de perfection de l or. Il ne se dit point des autres metaux. De l or à vingt carats, au vingt & uniéme carat. il n y a point d or à vingt quatre carats. On dit prov. & fig. qu Un homme est sot, est… …   Dictionnaire de l'Académie française

  • carat — carat, caret Carat (AmE karat) is a measure of the purity of gold; caret is a mark (λ) for showing an insertion in printing or writing …   Modern English usage

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