carbon dating


: the determination of the age of old material (such as an archaeological or paleontological specimen) by means of the content of carbon 14
carbon-date transitive verb

Example Sentences

Recent Examples on the Web Solving Monkey Mysteries To discover details about the spider monkey, the team applied a variety of approaches, including archaeological analysis, DNA assessment and carbon dating. Sam Walters, Discover Magazine, 25 Nov. 2022 Tracking these sediments at multiple sites, combined with carbon dating of materials in the sediment, allowed the researchers to reconstruct the sea level over the last 5,000 years or so. John Timmer, Ars Technica, 21 Dec. 2022 But the Tel Lachish comb was found in a much later archaeological context, and carbon dating failed to determine its exact age, the article notes. Eleanor H. Reich, USA TODAY, 12 Nov. 2022 Two attempts at carbon dating it were unsuccessful. Margaret Osborne, Smithsonian Magazine, 10 Nov. 2022 The project is part of a scientific revolution that is profoundly expanding the type of information that can be gleaned from historical texts and artifacts, from X-ray and CT scanning to carbon dating and genetic sequencing. Jo Marchant, Smithsonian Magazine, 10 Nov. 2022 The man had lived sometime between 4,900 and 4,700 B.C., the researchers said, based on carbon dating of his tomb. Dominique Mosbergen, WSJ, 7 Sep. 2022 In this age of DNA testing and carbon dating, the popular imagination envisions conservators-slash-scientists conducting a battery of lab tests on an artwork to determine its genesis. Julie Belcove, Robb Report, 28 Aug. 2022 The canoe was in use around A.D. 800, according to carbon dating the archaeologists did on a sliver of wood before it was lifted out of the lake. Sophie Carson, USA TODAY, 10 Nov. 2021 See More

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

Word History

First Known Use

1951, in the meaning defined above

Time Traveler
The first known use of carbon dating was in 1951

Dictionary Entries Near carbon dating

Cite this Entry

“Carbon dating.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 31 Jan. 2023.

Kids Definition

carbon dating

: the measurement of age (as of a fossil) by means of the amount of carbon 14 in the material
Last Updated: - Updated example sentences
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