car·​bon·​yl | \ ˈkär-bə-ˌnil How to pronounce carbonyl (audio) , -ˌnēl, ˌkär-bə-ˈnēl, kär-ˈbä-nᵊl, especially British ˈkä-bə-ˌnī(-ə)l \

Definition of carbonyl

1 : an organic functional group or radical −CO− occurring in aldehydes, ketones, carboxylic acids, esters, and their derivatives
2 : a coordination complex involving the neutral radical CO chromium carbonyl

Other Words from carbonyl

carbonylic \ ˌkär-​bə-​ˈni-​lik How to pronounce carbonyl (audio) \ adjective

Examples of carbonyl in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web Incorporating his innovative use of aldehydes, which are organic compounds where a carbon atom shares a double bond with an oxygen atom, a single bond with a hydrogen atom, and a single bond with another atom to form the carbonyl group. Allyson Portee, Forbes, 16 Apr. 2021 Some scientists are less confident about using carbonyl sulfide as a method to measure photosynthesis. Sarah Gibbens, National Geographic, 16 May 2019 As new land was uncovered, plants sprang up and began destroying carbonyl sulfide. Carl Zimmer, New York Times, 5 Apr. 2017 Plants draw in carbonyl sulfide along with carbon dioxide. Carl Zimmer, New York Times, 5 Apr. 2017

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

First Known Use of carbonyl

1857, in the meaning defined at sense 1

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The first known use of carbonyl was in 1857

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Dictionary Entries Near carbonyl

carbon transfer



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Cite this Entry

“Carbonyl.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 16 May. 2022.

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More Definitions for carbonyl


car·​bon·​yl | \ ˈkär-bə-ˌnil, -ˌnēl How to pronounce carbonyl (audio) \

Medical Definition of carbonyl

: an organic functional group CO occurring in aldehydes, ketones, carboxylic acids, esters, and their derivatives


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