car·​bon·​if·​er·​ous | \ ˌkär-bə-ˈni-f(ə-)rəs How to pronounce carboniferous (audio) \

Definition of carboniferous

1 : producing or containing carbon or coal
2 capitalized : of, relating to, or being the period of the Paleozoic era between the Devonian and the Permian or the corresponding system of rocks that includes coal beds — see Geologic Time Table

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Other Words from carboniferous

Carboniferous noun

Examples of carboniferous in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web True spiders, to which sea spiders (some of which have more than eight legs) are but distantly related, are known for certain only from as far back as the Carboniferous period, about 300m years ago. The Economist, "Sea spidersHow does an animal with no heart circulate oxygen?," 13 July 2017 A new microsaur from the Early Carboniferous (Viséan) of East Kirkton, Scotland, showing soft tissue evidence. Darren Naish, Scientific American Blog Network, "The Microsaurs of Yore," 7 July 2017

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

First Known Use of carboniferous

1799, in the meaning defined at sense 1

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The first known use of carboniferous was in 1799

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Cite this Entry

“Carboniferous.” The Dictionary, Merriam-Webster Inc., Accessed 9 December 2019.

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