noun, often attributive
ra·​dio·​car·​bon | \ ˌrā-dē-ō-ˈkär-bən How to pronounce radiocarbon (audio) \

Definition of radiocarbon

: radioactive carbon especially : carbon 14

Examples of radiocarbon in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web These spiral ditch grass seeds were radiocarbon-dated, delivering the time range of 23,000 to 21,000 years ago at the center of the new study. Riley Black, Scientific American, 23 Sep. 2021 The exact year was determinable because a massive solar storm occurred in 992 AD that produced a distinct radiocarbon signal in tree rings from the following year. Doyle Rice, USA TODAY, 20 Oct. 2021 The radiocarbon dates for the seeds from the New Mexico tracks would thus be the clearest evidence yet that people were making ancient North America their home more than 20,000 years ago. Riley Black, Scientific American, 23 Sep. 2021 In recent years it has been discovered that massive solar storms can cause radiocarbon levels in the atmosphere to spike, Dee said. Doyle Rice, USA TODAY, 20 Oct. 2021 White sharks are slow to grow and mature; radiocarbon analysis of their cartilage suggests the largest specimens might be as old as 70 years. New York Times, 20 Oct. 2021 The human bones were then radiocarbon-dated to between 42,580 and 45,930 years before present. Brian Handwerk, Smithsonian Magazine, 7 Apr. 2021 Researchers used radiocarbon analysis to date the Whitesands cemetery’s use to the 6th through 11th centuries. Isis Davis-marks, Smithsonian Magazine, 7 July 2021 After radiocarbon analysis the team concluded that the man died between 1370 BC and 1010 BC -- more than 3,000 years ago. Amy Woodyatt, CNN, 24 June 2021

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

1936, in the meaning defined above

History and Etymology for radiocarbon

International Scientific Vocabulary

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Time Traveler for radiocarbon

Time Traveler

The first known use of radiocarbon was in 1936

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Dictionary Entries Near radiocarbon

radio car


radiocarbon dating

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Statistics for radiocarbon

Last Updated

3 Dec 2021

Cite this Entry

“Radiocarbon.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 19 Jan. 2022.

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More Definitions for radiocarbon


ra·​dio·​car·​bon | \ ˌrād-ē-ō-ˈkär-bən How to pronounce radiocarbon (audio) \

Medical Definition of radiocarbon

: radioactive carbon especially : carbon 14


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