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

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Examples of carbonize in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web

They were carbonized in the aftermath of the eruption of Mount Vesuvius, entombed underground for more than a millennium and discovered 267 years ago — the pages of papyrus fused together like rings of an oak. Washington Post, "How do you read ancient scrolls too brittle to unfurl? An American scientist may have an answer.," 2 July 2019 Yet the tremendous volcanic heat and gases spewed by Vesuvius carbonized the scrolls, turning them black and hard like lumps of coal. Henrik Knudsen, Smithsonian, "Buried by the Ash of Vesuvius, These Scrolls Are Being Read for the First Time in Millennia," 26 June 2018 If de-carbonizing energy production is the greatest challenge to humanity, nuclear, which generates roughly the same carbon output per energy unit as solar panels and windmills, will be a major part of the solution. Charles R. Morris, WSJ, "‘Energy’ Review: The Path to Power," 21 June 2018 Can California, home to the world’s sixth-largest economy, essentially de-carbonize its entire electric grid in the space of 28 years? Rob Nikolewski,, "Can California really hit a 100% renewable energy target?," 9 June 2017 As your bread is carbonizing, assess your fridge for toppings. Maggie Lange, Bon Appetit, "Weird Toast Will Save You When You Don't Know What To Eat," 24 May 2017

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.

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First Known Use of carbonize

1798, in the meaning defined at transitive sense 1

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Statistics for carbonize

Last Updated

5 Jul 2019

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for carbonize

The first known use of carbonize was in 1798

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More Definitions for carbonize


variants: or British carbonise \ ˈkär-​bə-​ˌnīz How to pronounce carbonise (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 carbonisation (audio) \ noun

More from Merriam-Webster on carbonize

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with carbonize

Britannica English: Translation of carbonize for Arabic Speakers

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food or victuals

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