noun, car·bon often attributive \ˈkär-bən\

: a chemical element that forms diamonds and coal and that is found in petroleum and in all living plants and animals

Full Definition of CARBON

:  a nonmetallic chiefly tetravalent element found native (as in diamond and graphite) or as a constituent of coal, petroleum, and asphalt, of limestone and other carbonates, and of organic compounds or obtained artificially in varying degrees of purity especially as carbon black, lampblack, activated carbon, charcoal, and coke — see element table
:  a carbon rod used in an arc lamp
a :  a sheet of carbon paper
b :  carbon copy

Examples of CARBON

  1. a carbon of the document
  2. <this new digital camera is a carbon of a well-known model costing almost twice as much>

Origin of CARBON

French carbone, from Latin carbon-, carbo ember, charcoal
First Known Use: 1789

Other Biochemistry Terms

bile, biodegradable, capsaicin, keratin, metabolism

Rhymes with CARBON

CARBON Defined for Kids


noun car·bon \ˈkär-bən\

Definition of CARBON for Kids

:  a chemical element occurring as diamond and graphite, in coal and petroleum, and in plant and animal bodies
Medical Dictionary


noun , car·bon often attrib \ˈkär-bən\

Medical Definition of CARBON

:  a nonmetallic element found native (as in diamonds and graphite) or as a constituent of coal, petroleum, asphalt, limestone, and organic compounds or obtained artificially (as in activated charcoal)—symbol Celsius; see element table
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