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Definition of "carrot-and-stick" [carrot-and-stick]

  • Combining a promised reward with a threatened penalty: took a carrot-and-stick approach to the rehabilitation of juvenile offenders. (adjective)

American Heritage(R) Dictionary of the English Language, Fifth Edition. Copyright (c) 2011 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.

Use "carrot-and-stick" in a sentence
  • "The Irish gangs in the city waged a relentless carrot-and-stick campaign to gain power and legitimacy."
  • "The comments by Wu Zili, the acting mayor of Shanwei prefecture, which includes Wukan, suggested that authorities were taking a cautious, carrot-and-stick approach as they attempt to resolve the situation without embarrassing Beijing by prompting further violence or emboldening other protesters."
  • "I think, perhaps, what is most important to know about Oregon's tax amnesty program is that it is a carrot-and-stick approach -- not just a carrot."