English

Definition of car noun from the Oxford Advanced Learner's Dictionary

      

    car

     noun
    noun
    BrE BrE//kɑː(r)//
     
    ; NAmE NAmE//kɑːr//
     
    Trains, Types of vehicle
     
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  1. 1  (formal motor car especially in British English) (also North American English, formal automobile) a road vehicle with an engine and four wheels that can carry a small number of passengers Paula got into the car and drove off. ‘How did you come?’ ‘By car.’ Are you going in the car? a car driver/manufacturer/dealer a car accident/crash Where can I park the car? CollocationsDrivingHaving a car have/​own/(British English) run a car ride a motorcycle/​motorbike drive/​prefer/​use an automatic/​a manual/(North American English, informal) a stick shift have/​get your car serviced/​fixed/​repaired buy/​sell a used car/(especially British English) a second-hand car take/​pass/​fail a (British English) driving test/(both North American English) driver’s test/​road test get/​obtain/​have/​lose/​carry a/​your (British English) driving licence/(North American English) driver’s licenseDriving put on/​fasten/(North American English) buckle/​wear/​undo your seat belt/​safety belt put/​turn/​leave the key in the ignition start the car/​engine (British English) change/(North American English) shift/​put something into gear press/​put your foot on the brake pedal/​clutch/​accelerator release the clutch/(especially British English) the handbrake/(both North American English) the emergency brake/​the parking brake drive/​park/​reverse the car (British English) indicate left/​right (especially North American English) signal that you are turning left/​right take/​miss (British English) the turning/(especially North American English) the turn apply/​hit/​slam on the brake(s) beep/​honk/(especially British English) toot/(British English) sound your hornProblems and accidents a car skids/​crashes (into something)/collides (with something) swerve to avoid an oncoming car/​a pedestrian crash/​lose control of the car have/​be in/​be killed in/​survive a car crash/​a car accident/(North American English) a car wreck/​a hit-and-run be run over/​knocked down by a car/​bus/​truck dent/​hit (British English) the bonnet/(North American English) the hood break/​crack/​shatter (British English) the windscreen/(North American English) the windshield blow/(especially British English) burst/​puncture (British English) a tyre/(North American English) a tire get/​have (British English) a flat tyre/​a flat tire/​a puncture inflate/​change/​fit/​replace/​check a tyre/​tire Traffic and driving regulations be caught in/​get stuck in/​sit in a traffic jam cause congestion/​tailbacks/​traffic jams/​gridlock experience/​face lengthy delays beat/​avoid the traffic/​the rush hour break/​observe/(North American English) drive the speed limit be caught on (British English) a speed camera stop somebody for/​pull somebody over for/(British English, informal) be done for speeding (both informal) run/(British English) jump a red light/​the lights be arrested for/​charged with (British English) drink-driving/(both US English) driving under the influence (DUI)/driving while intoxicated (DWI) be banned/(British English) disqualified from driving see also company car Wordfinderaccelerate, brake, car, commute, driving, licence, motorist, road, road tax, traffic CulturedrivingAmericans have long had a ‘love affair’ with the automobile (also car), and are surprised when they meet somebody who cannot drive. Almost everybody over the age of 15 is a driver and most households have a vehicle. American life is arranged so that people can do most things from their cars. There are drive-in banks, post offices, restaurants, movie theatres and even some churches.In Britain the proportion of the population who are drivers is slightly less but, as in the US, many people prefer to use their car rather than public transport, because it is more convenient and because they like to be independent. In order to reduce pollution the government tries to discourage car ownership by making driving expensive. In particular, it puts a heavy tax on fuel and increases the annual road tax for cars that cause heavy pollution. Congestion charging is used to persuade people to avoid driving their cars in city centres.To many people the make and quality of their car reflects their status in society, and it is important to them to get a smart new car every few years. In Britain since 2001 the registration number of a car shows the place and date of registration but older number plates can be used and a personalized number plate (= a registration number that spells out the owner's name or initials) may also suggest status. Many people prefer to buy a small, economical car, or get a second-hand one. Cars in the US are often larger than those in Britain and though fuel is cheaper, insurance is expensive. In the US car license plates, commonly called tags, are given by the states. New ones must be bought every two or three years, or when a driver moves to another state. The states use the plates to advertise themselves: Alabama plates say ‘The heart of Dixie’ and have a small heart on them, and Illinois has ‘The land of Lincoln’.In Britain, before a person can get a driving licence they must pass an official driving test, which includes a written test of the Highway Code (= the rules that all road users must obey) and a practical driving exam. Only people aged 17 or over are allowed to drive. Learner drivers who have a provisional driving licence must display an L-plate, a large red ‘L’, on their car, and be supervised by a qualified driver. The US has no national driver's license (AmE), but instead licences are issued by each state. Most require written tests, an eye test and a short practical test. The minimum age for getting a licence is normally 16, although some states will issue a learner's permit to drivers as young as 14. Many states now apply a system of graduated licenses in which young drivers are first required to have an intermediate license for a period of time before being given a full license. An intermediate licence may, for example, prevent driving alone at particular times of the day or require the driver to take special classes if they drive badly. Americans have to get a new driver's license if they move to another state.In Britain people drive on the left and in the US they drive on the right. Generally British and US drivers are relatively careful and courteous but there is dangerous driving. In the US many of the deaths due to traffic accidents are caused by drivers who have drunk alcohol. Drink-driving (AmE driving under the influence or driving while intoxicated) (= driving a car after drinking alcohol) is also a serious problem in Britain. On many British roads speed cameras have been set up to catch drivers who go too fast. In the US the main job of state highway patrols is to prevent speeding.Many drivers belong to a motoring organization in case their car breaks down. In Britain the main ones are the AA (Automobile Association) and the RAC (Royal Automobile Club), and in the US the largest is the American Automobile Association. See related entries: Types of vehicle
  2. 2  (also railcar both North American English) a separate section of a train Several cars went off the rails. See related entries: Trains
  3. 3(in compounds) a coach/car on a train of a particular type a sleeping/dining car
  4. Word Origin late Middle English (in the general sense ‘wheeled vehicle’): from Old Northern French carre, based on Latin carrum, carrus, of Celtic origin.Extra examples He got in the car and they drove off. He pulled his car over at a small hotel. He swerved his car sharply to the right. Her car skidded on a patch of ice. His car hit a van coming in the opposite direction. I have to take the car in for a service. I lost control of the car and it spun off the road. I’ll wait for you in the car. It’s too far to walk. I’ll take the car. It’s very expensive to run a car these days. Police in an unmarked car had been following the stolen vehicle for several minutes. The car does 55 miles per gallon. The car was doing over 100 miles an hour. The government wants more people to use public transport instead of private cars. The government wants to reduce the use of private cars. The kids all piled into the car. The number of cars on the road is increasing all the time. The red car suddenly pulled out in front of me. The robbers abandoned their getaway car and ran off. The robbers abandoned their getaway car in Sealand Road. There was a line of parked cars in front of the building. There’s not enough car parking in the city. They take the children to school by car. What cheek! That car pulled out right in front of me! You lock up the house and I’ll get the car out. a car boot sale a used car salesman cars that run on diesel ‘How did you come?’ ‘By car.’ Are we going in the car? He had to take his car to the garage. He opened the car door for her. I can put the wheelchair in the back of the car. I decided to buy a second-hand car. She was sitting in the smoking car. The driver crashed the stolen car while being chased by the police. They parked the car and walked the rest of the way. They were admiring his new sports car. a buffet car a sleeping/​dining car
See the Oxford Advanced American Dictionary entry: car