Definitions

from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 4th Edition

  • n. Archaic A jeweled necklace, collar, or headband.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

  • n. A richly decorative collar.

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • n. A jeweled chain, necklace, or collar.

from The Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia

  • n. Anecklace or collar of jewels.
  • n. A circlet of gold and jewels worn as an ornament for the hair.

Etymologies

From Old French carcan, collar, perhaps from Medieval Latin carcannum, perhaps of Germanic origin.
(American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth Edition)
From carcan +‎ -et. (Wiktionary)

Examples

  • A-drooping.] [Footnote 6: A carcanet is a necklace, diminutive from old French

    The Early Poems of Alfred Lord Tennyson

  • “He may be right,” said Sir Archibald, “for here is a slip of parchment, commending the bearer of this carcanet to the Duke, desiring him to accept it as a true token from one well known to him, and to give the bearer full credence in all that be should say on the part of there by whom he is sent.”

    Anne of Geierstein

  • Lo you! let me have a blue robe, and — search for the ruby carcanet, which was part of the

    The Talisman

  • Now, though I am never a hoarder of my pay, because it doth ill to bear a charge about one in these perilous times, yet I always have (and I would advise you to follow my example) some odd gold chain, or bracelet, or carcanet, that serves for the ornament of my person, and can at need spare

    Quentin Durward

  • His high-crowned grey hat lay on the floor, covered with dust, but encircled by a carcanet of large balas rubies; and he wore a blue velvet nightcap, in the front of which was placed the plume of a heron, which had been struck down by a favourite hawk in some critical moment of the flight, in remembrance of which the king wore this highly honoured feather.

    The Fortunes of Nigel

  • Rowena opened the small silver-chased casket, and perceived a carcanet, or neck lace, with ear-jewels, of diamonds, which were obviously of immense value.

    Ivanhoe

  • Each one wore an iron carcanet, and the crowd was never weary of coming to gaze at them.

    Salammbo

  • There flying Elwing came to him, and flame was in the darkness lit; more bright than light of diamond the fire upon her carcanet.

    The Lord of the Rings

  • The tall young Queen was in crimson satin with cunningly-wrought silver embroideries, trimmed with tufted silver fringe, her stomacher stiff with silver bullion studded with gold rosettes and Roman pearls, her bodice cut low to display her splendid neck, decked by a carcanet of pearls and rubies, and surmounted by a fan-like cuff of guipure, high behind and sloping towards the bust.

    The Historical Nights' Entertainment Second Series

  • On her white bosom hung a priceless carcanet of limpid diamonds, and through the heavy tresses of her bronze-coloured hair was coiled a string of lustrous pearls.

    The Historical Nights' Entertainment Second Series

Comments

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  • ...
    There flying Elwing came to him,
    and flame was in the darkness lit;
    more bright than light of diamond
    the fire upon her carcanet.
    ...

    from The Ballad of Eärendil by J.R.R. Tolkien, from Fellowship of the Ring.

    June 30, 2008