Definition of carbene in US English:



  • A highly reactive molecule containing a divalent carbon atom, examples of which occur as intermediates in some organic reactions.

    • ‘This reaction has become synthetically useful since the discovery of various well-defined transition metal carbene complexes which can catalyse alkene metathesis.’
    • ‘We have since shown that this type of conical intersection structure is general for other alkene systems leading to carbene formation and cis-trans isomerization where possible.’
    • ‘It is only in reactions with transition metals that carbenes are stable, due to the distribution of electrons within the structure formed.’
    • ‘So here we have the personal opinion of a professor in chemistry, famous for his work on carbenes, commenting on evolution and at the same time his title evolved into professor of biochemistry.’