carbon

noun, often attributive car·bon \ ˈkär-bən \
Updated on: 11 Nov 2017

Definition of carbon

1 :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 Chemical Elements Table
2 :a carbon rod used in an arc lamp
3 a :a sheet of carbon paper

Examples of carbon in a Sentence

  1. a carbon of the document

  2. this new digital camera is a carbon of a well-known model costing almost twice as much

Recent Examples of carbon from the Web

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

Origin and Etymology of carbon

French carbone, from Latin carbon-, carbo ember, charcoal

Other Biochemistry Terms


CARBON Defined for English Language Learners

carbon

noun

Definition of carbon for English Language Learners

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


CARBON Defined for Kids

carbon

noun car·bon \ ˈkär-bən \

Definition of carbon for Students

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

Medical Dictionary

carbon

noun, often attributive car·bon \ 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 C — see Chemical Elements Table


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