carbon monoxide


Definition of carbon monoxide 

: a colorless odorless very toxic gas CO that is formed as a product of the incomplete combustion of carbon or a carbon compound

Examples of carbon monoxide in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web

He also is required to have onboard a fire extinguisher, smoke and carbon monoxide detectors and life jackets. Paul A. Smith, Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, "They love fishing, so they set cabins afloat: Wolf River rafts are 'home' to some anglers," 20 June 2018 Most of the smoke and carbon monoxide alarms in the building were missing, officials said. Alana Levene,, "Fatal Waltham fire likely started by smoking materials, officials said," 11 June 2018 Firefighters will check for common fire hazards and batteries in smoke and carbon monoxide detectors. Houston Chronicle, "Katy-area calendar of events," 28 May 2018 Install smoke detectors outside each bedroom and make sure there are working smoke and carbon monoxide alarms on every level of your home, including your basement. Caroline Picard, Good Housekeeping, "This Why You Should NEVER Plug Space Heaters Into Power Strips," 29 Nov. 2017 Despite aggressive public-information campaigns by federal and local officials on that point, carbon monoxide poisoning incidents remain a serious problem. Juliet Eilperin,, "Emails reveal close rapport between top EPA officials and those they regulate," 1 July 2018 The air in caves tends to be good, and cavers would typically worry about high concentrations of carbon monoxide, not low concentrations of oxygen, said Dinko Novosel, the president of the European Cave Rescue Association. New York Times, "8 Saved, 5 to Go in Thai Cave Rescue," 9 July 2018 Both teams focused on carbon monoxide, a gas that emits a distinctive signal at millimeter wavelength, perfect for the ALMA’s sensitivity. Daniel Clery, Science | AAAS, "This distant disk may contain the youngest exoplanets ever detected," 14 June 2018 In case traffic starts to build up, environmental sensors on the roadway deck measure carbon monoxide, NOx, and particulate levels every minute, for a continuous five-minute average. Tim Newcomb, WIRED, "The Brilliant Vigilance of Seattle's Gargantuan New Tunnel," 13 June 2018

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

See More

First Known Use of carbon monoxide

1868, in the meaning defined above

Keep scrolling for more

Learn More about carbon monoxide

Share carbon monoxide

Statistics for carbon monoxide

Last Updated

29 Aug 2018

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for carbon monoxide

The first known use of carbon monoxide was in 1868

See more words from the same year

Keep scrolling for more

More Definitions for carbon monoxide

carbon monoxide


English Language Learners Definition of carbon monoxide

: a poisonous gas that is formed when carbon is not completely burned and especially when gasoline is burned in car engines

carbon monoxide

carbon mon·ox·ide | \-mə-ˈnäk-ˌsīd\

Kids Definition of carbon monoxide

: a colorless odorless very poisonous gas formed by incomplete burning of carbon

carbon monoxide


Medical Definition of carbon monoxide 

: a colorless odorless very toxic gas CO that burns to carbon dioxide with a blue flame and is formed as a product of the incomplete combustion of carbon

Keep scrolling for more

More from Merriam-Webster on carbon monoxide

See words that rhyme with carbon monoxide

Spanish Central: Translation of carbon monoxide Encyclopedia article about carbon monoxide

Comments on carbon monoxide

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


exaggeratedly or childishly emotional

Get Word of the Day daily email!

Test Your Vocabulary

Words from Greek and Roman Mythology Quiz

  • the-triumph-of-venus-by-alessandro-magnasco
  • Boreal comes from the name of the ancient Greek god of which wind?
True or False

Test your knowledge - and maybe learn something along the way.

Word Winder's CrossWinder

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!