car·​bo·​na·​ceous ˌkär-bə-ˈnā-shəs How to pronounce carbonaceous (audio)
: relating to, containing, or composed of carbon
: rich in carbon

Examples of carbonaceous in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web Rapid oxidation of the pyrite, perhaps accelerated initially by microbes, heated the rock enough to ignite dispersed solid carbonaceous matter present in the shale. Erik Klemetti, Discover Magazine, 15 Aug. 2011 Primitive carbonaceous chondrite meteorites, thought to be parts of the original nebula that formed the solar system, come in at ~4.56 billion. Erik Klemetti, Discover Magazine, 24 Apr. 2018 This Week Here s How To Catch Best Shooting Stars Of 2023 Rare Meteorite The results, published in November in Nature Astronomy, show that Phaethon 3200 resembles a scarce kind of meteorite called a CY carbonaceous chondrite. Jamie Carter, Forbes, 11 Dec. 2023 Aliphatic aldehydes, which have been found in some types of carbonaceous meteorites that have fallen to Earth, are precursors of carboxylic acids and amino acids. Elizabeth Rayne, Ars Technica, 14 Nov. 2023 Theorists can try to tweak models of supernovae and Wolf-Rayet stars to try to find the conditions that produce the carbonaceous dust seen in the JWST observations. Popular Science, 19 July 2023 Still, space scientists knew that the icy dust bodies that formed carbonaceous chondrites were likely to contain water, ammonia and small carbon molecules like aldehydes and methanol, so the elemental constituents of amino acids would have been present. John Rennie, Quanta Magazine, 4 Jan. 2023 Those carbonaceous meteorites also contain organic molecules—meaning that Mars had prime conditions for the formation of life long before Earth did, per New Scientist’s Jacklin Kwan. Margaret Osborne, Smithsonian Magazine, 18 Nov. 2022 The meteorite offers a look at a rare carbonaceous chondrite, a high silicate rock containing approximately 2 percent carbon by weight. Tim Newcomb, Popular Mechanics, 17 Nov. 2022

These examples are programmatically compiled from various online sources to illustrate current usage of the word 'carbonaceous.' 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

1727, in the meaning defined at sense 1

Time Traveler
The first known use of carbonaceous was in 1727

Dictionary Entries Near carbonaceous

Cite this Entry

“Carbonaceous.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 27 May. 2024.

Kids Definition


car·​bo·​na·​ceous ˌkär-bə-ˈnā-shəs How to pronounce carbonaceous (audio)
: relating to, containing, or made up of carbon

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