hydrocarbon

noun
hy·​dro·​car·​bon | \ ˈhī-drō-ˌkär-bən How to pronounce hydrocarbon (audio) \

Definition of hydrocarbon

: an organic compound (such as acetylene or butane) containing only carbon and hydrogen and often occurring in petroleum, natural gas, coal, and bitumens

Examples of hydrocarbon in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web

Currently, energy companies including Italy’s Eni, France’s Total and ExxonMobil are involved in a hydrocarbons search in the waters of Cyprus’ southern coastline. Menelaos Hadjicostis, The Seattle Times, "Israel: ‘Much safer’ Mediterranean with Cyprus teamwork," 12 Feb. 2019 Anastasiades said Cyprus and Israel share a joint commitment to the East Med project that would diversify Europe’s hydrocarbons supply and bolster its energy security. Menelaos Hadjicostis, The Seattle Times, "Israel: ‘Much safer’ Mediterranean with Cyprus teamwork," 12 Feb. 2019 Add to that organized opposition to hydrocarbons, increasingly competitive renewables and revolutionary changes in vehicle transportation. Houston Chronicle, "Competition for top talent keeps pay scale high in oil industry," 13 July 2018 Advocates say a carbon tax would reduce the use of hydrocarbons by creating a disincentive. Mark P. Mills, WSJ, "Have We Got a Carbon Tax ‘Dividend’ for You," 8 Jan. 2019 Of course, there's always Titan, Saturn's giant moon that has liquid bodies of hydrocarbons on its surface. John Wenz, Popular Mechanics, "NASA Is Launching a Submarine to the Seafloor," 13 Aug. 2018 By 2023, total U.S. liquid hydrocarbon output will rise to 17 million barrels a day from 13.2 million last year, the IEA said. Javier Blas, Bloomberg.com, "OPEC-Shale Dinner Serves Small Talk on Oil, Not Much Else," 6 Mar. 2018 Instead, LanzaTech captures the gases that come out of a steel plant and feeds them to a collection of proprietary microbes that eat the gases and create alcohol that can be refined into long hydrocarbons that create fuel. Megan Geuss, Ars Technica, "Tonight a Virgin Atlantic 747 will fly on fuel made from industrial waste gas," 2 Oct. 2018 ExxonMobil will begin a hydrocarbon search off Cyprus later this year. Menelaos Hadjicostis, The Seattle Times, "Cyprus, Egypt set to sign deal for offshore gas pipeline," 18 Sep. 2018

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

1826, in the meaning defined above

Keep scrolling for more

Learn More about hydrocarbon

Share hydrocarbon

Statistics for hydrocarbon

Last Updated

8 Mar 2019

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for hydrocarbon

The first known use of hydrocarbon was in 1826

See more words from the same year

Keep scrolling for more

More Definitions for hydrocarbon

hydrocarbon

noun

English Language Learners Definition of hydrocarbon

technical : a substance (such as coal or natural gas) that contains only carbon and hydrogen

hydrocarbon

noun
hy·​dro·​car·​bon | \ ˌhī-drə-ˈkär-bən How to pronounce hydrocarbon (audio) \

Kids Definition of hydrocarbon

: a substance containing only carbon and hydrogen

hydrocarbon

noun
hy·​dro·​car·​bon | \ -ˈkär-bən How to pronounce hydrocarbon (audio) \

Medical Definition of hydrocarbon

: an organic compound (as acetylene, benzene, or butane) containing only carbon and hydrogen and often occurring in petroleum, natural gas, coal, and bitumens

Keep scrolling for more

More from Merriam-Webster on hydrocarbon

Spanish Central: Translation of hydrocarbon

Nglish: Translation of hydrocarbon for Spanish Speakers

Britannica.com: Encyclopedia article about hydrocarbon

Comments on hydrocarbon

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

WORD OF THE DAY

a flaw that causes the downfall of a hero

Get Word of the Day daily email!

Test Your Vocabulary

Original Meanings Quiz

  • rembrandt-painting-a-young-scholar-and-his-tutor
  • Which of the following is the earliest known sense of the word awe?
Name That Thing

Test your visual vocabulary with our 10-question challenge!

TAKE THE QUIZ
Word Winder's CrossWinder

Test Your Knowledge - and learn some interesting things along the way.

TAKE THE QUIZ

Love words? Need even more definitions?

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