car·​bon·​ize | \ ˈkär-bə-ˌnīz How to pronounce carbonize (audio) \
carbonized; carbonizing

Definition of carbonize

transitive verb

1 : to convert into carbon or a carbonic residue

Examples of carbonize in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web Major institutional investors are also trying to de-carbonize their portfolios. Hanna Ziady, CNN, "Saudi Arabia could sell more of its crown jewel. China is the most likely buyer," 28 Apr. 2021 When the Nomex suit encounters intense heat, its fibers thicken and carbonize, absorbing heat energy. Cory Graff, Popular Mechanics, "Everything an F/A-18 Fighter Pilot Wears in the Cockpit," 18 Apr. 2021 So continued declines in battery prices over the next decade will be a huge help as the world tries to de-carbonize, too. Timothy B. Lee, Ars Technica, "The story of cheaper batteries, from smartphones to Teslas," 22 Sep. 2020 His technique for reassembling papyrus scrolls carbonized by the eruption of Mount Vesuvius in a.d. Ariel Sabar, The Atlantic, "A Mystery at Oxford," 13 May 2020 The scrolls’ unique state of preservation is due to the hot gases of Vesuvius, which carbonized the scrolls’ exterior but left many of them readable inside. Peter Saenger, WSJ, "Preserved by a Fiery Disaster," 21 June 2019 Until the power grid is de-carbonized, even that benefit isn't too great. Ryan Cooper, TheWeek, "The real potential of the electric vehicle revolution," 17 Feb. 2020 In excavations some two millenniums later, the loaves finally came out of the oven — carbonized, but with their shape and texture intact. Meara Sharma, New York Times, "How to Eat Dinner Like the Last Citizens of Pompeii," 24 Dec. 2019 Sanders has called for ending all infrastructure permits for fossil fuels, and to use the Environmental Protection Agency and the Department of Transportation to set rules aimed at de-carbonizing the transportation sector. Sahil Kapur, Fortune, "Why Even a Democratic Landslide in 2020 Won’t Guarantee Major Climate Action," 28 Aug. 2019

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'carbonize.' 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 carbonize

1798, in the meaning defined at transitive sense 1

Keep scrolling for more

Learn More about carbonize

Time Traveler for carbonize

Time Traveler

The first known use of carbonize was in 1798

See more words from the same year

Statistics for carbonize

Last Updated

2 May 2021

Cite this Entry

“Carbonize.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 16 May. 2021.

Style: MLA
MLACheck Mark Icon ChicagoCheck Mark Icon APACheck Mark Icon Merriam-WebsterCheck Mark Icon

Keep scrolling for more

More Definitions for carbonize


variants: or British carbonise \ ˈkär-​bə-​ˌnīz How to pronounce carbonize (audio) \
carbonized or British carbonised; carbonizing or British carbonising

Medical Definition of carbonize

transitive verb

: to convert into carbon or a carbonic residue

intransitive verb

: to become carbonized or charred

Other Words from carbonize

carbonization or British carbonisation \ ˌkär-​bə-​nə-​ˈzā-​shən How to pronounce carbonize (audio) \ noun

More from Merriam-Webster on carbonize

Britannica English: Translation of carbonize for Arabic Speakers

Comments on carbonize

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


Test Your Vocabulary

Words Used by Nabokov Quiz

  • image1676440788
  • Choose the best definition or synonym for the word in bold: "There are some eructations that sound like cheers—at least, mine did." Lolita
Spell It

Can you spell these 10 commonly misspelled words?

Universal Daily Crossword

A daily challenge for crossword fanatics.

Love words? Need even more definitions?

Subscribe to America's largest dictionary and get thousands more definitions and advanced search—ad free!