Definition of Carboniferous in US English:

Carboniferous

adjective

Geology
  • 1Relating to or denoting the fifth period of the Paleozoic era, between the Devonian and Permian periods.

    The Carboniferous lasted from about 360 million to 286 million years ago. This period is subdivided into two periods, the Older Carboniferous, or Mississippian Period (about 360-320 million years ago), and the Younger Carboniferous, or Pennsylvanian Period (about 320-286 million years ago). During this time the first reptiles and seed-bearing plants appeared, and there were extensive coral reefs and coal-forming swamp forests

    • ‘The northern margin of the fold-thrust belt is composed of sedimentary sequences of Middle to Upper Devonian and Carboniferous rocks.’
    • ‘The surface structure, especially in the Zilair Nappe and the Carboniferous and Permian sediments that form the frontal structure in the west, is well constrained by field data.’
    • ‘The polarity of the postulated Carboniferous subduction at Alexander Island is unknown.’
    • ‘The Cretaceous rocks that occupy the southern part of the block between the TLF and fault A are partly overthrust by those of Carboniferous age in a SW direction.’
    • ‘Fossils of the group are mostly Cenozoic, though some Permian and Carboniferous fossils are also known.’
    1. 1.1as noun The Carboniferous period or the system of rocks deposited during it.

Pronunciation

Carboniferous

/ˌkɑrbəˈnɪfərəs//ˌkärbəˈnifərəs/