cart / kärt/ • n. a strong open vehicle with two or four wheels, typically used for carrying loads and pulled by a horse. ∎ a light two-wheeled open vehicle pulled by a single horse and used as a means of transport. ∎ a shallow open container on wheels that may be pulled or pushed by hand. ∎ a shopping cart.• v. [tr.] 1. (often be carted) convey or put in a cart or similar vehicle: the produce was packed in crates and carted to Kansas City.2. [tr.] inf. carry (a heavy or cumbersome object) somewhere with difficulty: they carted the piano down three flights of stairs. ∎ remove or convey (someone) somewhere unceremoniously: they carted off the refugees in the middle of the night.PHRASES: put the cart before the horse reverse the proper order or procedure of something.DERIVATIVES: cart·er n. ;cart·ful / -ˌfoŏl/ n. (pl. -fuls) .
put the cart before the horse reverse the proper order of things; the expression is recorded from the early 16th century.
See also upset the apple cart.