activated carbon


Definition of activated carbon

: a highly adsorbent powdered or granular carbon made usually by carbonization and chemical activation and used chiefly for purifying by adsorption

called also activated charcoal

Examples of activated carbon in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web The city’s Water Treatment Department is adding activated carbon to abate the taste and odor, but the odor can be detected at levels as small around 8 parts per trillion, according to the city. John Spina, The Denver Post, "Algae growth from late-summer high temperatures causing odor in Lafayette water," 6 Oct. 2019

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'activated carbon.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

First Known Use of activated carbon

1921, in the meaning defined above

Keep scrolling for more

Learn More about activated carbon

Time Traveler for activated carbon

Time Traveler

The first known use of activated carbon was in 1921

See more words from the same year

Statistics for activated carbon

Last Updated

23 Nov 2019

Cite this Entry

“Activated carbon.” The Dictionary, Merriam-Webster Inc., Accessed 7 December 2019.

More from Merriam-Webster on activated carbon Encyclopedia article about activated carbon

Comments on activated carbon

What made you want to look up activated carbon? Please tell us where you read or heard it (including the quote, if possible).


the study of flags

Get Word of the Day daily email!

Test Your Vocabulary

Semantic Drift Quiz

  • a twisty river
  • Which of the following was once a synonym for fun?
Spell It

Can you spell these 10 commonly misspelled words?

Bee Cubed

Test Your Knowledge - and learn some interesting things along the way.

Love words? Need even more definitions?

Subscribe to America's largest dictionary and get thousands more definitions and advanced search—ad free!