car·​bon·​yl ˈkär-bə-ˌnil How to pronounce carbonyl (audio)
 especially British  ˈkä-bə-ˌnī(-ə)l
: an organic functional group or radical −CO− occurring in aldehydes, ketones, carboxylic acids, esters, and their derivatives
: a coordination complex involving the neutral radical CO
chromium carbonyl
carbonylic adjective

Examples of carbonyl in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web But no one in the press knew how to find that information, and the Public Health Service, under pressure from the auto and oil industries, canceled a second day of public hearings that would have discussed safer gasoline additives like ethanol, iron carbonyl and catalytic reforming. Bill Kovarik, The Conversation, 8 Dec. 2021 During a survey of the cloud, the international research team identified water ice, as well as frozen forms of ammonia, methanol, methane and carbonyl sulfide. Ashley Strickland, CNN, 23 Jan. 2023 The carbonyl group of the sugar reacts with the amino group of the amino acid and produces water and other intermediates, which undergo multiple rearrangements [1]. Ashton Yoon, Discover Magazine, 10 Oct. 2017 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 examples are programmatically compiled from various online sources to illustrate current usage of the word 'carbonyl.' 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

1857, in the meaning defined at sense 1

Time Traveler
The first known use of carbonyl was in 1857

Dictionary Entries Near carbonyl

Cite this Entry

“Carbonyl.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 24 May. 2024.

Medical Definition


car·​bon·​yl ˈkär-bə-ˌnil, -ˌnēl How to pronounce carbonyl (audio)
: an organic functional group CO occurring in aldehydes, ketones, carboxylic acids, esters, and their derivatives
Love words? Need even more definitions?

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