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

Examples of carbon dating in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web The carbon dating suggests that the initial construction could have taken place during the last Ice Age, in the Paleolithic era, and was later modified in the Holocene or Neolithic era. Discover Staff, Discover Magazine, 28 Feb. 2024 Using carbon dating, the researchers estimate that the pits are anywhere from 4,900 to 5,400 years old. Nathaniel Scharping, Discover Magazine, 23 May 2016 The generic equation for a bell curve is: The number e raised to an exponent appears in science and engineering equations for carbon dating, spring dampening, temperature variation, bacterial growth, and more. Kat Friedrich, Popular Mechanics, 16 Mar. 2023 The remains will undergo testing and analysis, including carbon dating, which the team hope will help establish precise time frames, as well as details of individuals’ diets and their ancestry. Lianne Kolirin, CNN, 13 Mar. 2023 The most ancient of these viruses, based on carbon dating, was 48,500 years old. Tim Newcomb, Popular Mechanics, 9 Mar. 2023 Though there have been several attempts to contest the carbon dating results, none of them has stuck. Nathaniel Scharping, Discover Magazine, 2 Nov. 2020 Upcoming episodes will explore topics like cancer discoveries, carbon dating, social work, nuclear reactions, economics, and freedom of expression focusing on how discoveries in these fields laid the groundwork for research that continues today. Michael T. Nietzel, Forbes, 10 Feb. 2023 Schliemann thought Troy II was the setting of Homer’s poem, but carbon dating and pottery analysis have shown it to be at least 1,000 years too old to fit the description in The Iliad. Avery Hurt, Discover Magazine, 19 July 2021

These examples are programmatically compiled from various online sources to illustrate current usage of the word 'carbon dating.' Any opinions expressed in the examples do not represent those of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback about these examples.

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 25 May. 2024.

Kids Definition

carbon dating

: the measurement of age (as of a fossil) by means of the amount of carbon 14 in the material
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