Definition of carbohydrate in English:



  • 1Any of a large group of organic compounds occurring in foods and living tissues and including sugars, starch, and cellulose. They contain hydrogen and oxygen in the same ratio as water (2:1) and typically can be broken down to release energy in the animal body.

    ‘water-soluble carbohydrates’
    [mass noun] ‘dehydrated foods high in carbohydrate’
    [as modifier] ‘carbohydrate metabolism’
    • ‘Riboflavin is important in the breakdown of carbohydrates, fats and proteins.’
    • ‘Use food labels to keep track of the grams of fat, protein and carbohydrates in each food.’
    • ‘Food is a mix of carbohydrates, protein, fats, vitamins, minerals and other things.’
    • ‘The choices are designed to make sure children have a helping of protein, carbohydrate and vitamins.’
    • ‘The most abundant organic compound in the biosphere is a carbohydrate - cellulose, a substance which gives strength and integrity to plant cell walls.’
    • ‘During anabolism, small molecules are changed into larger, more complex molecules of carbohydrate, protein, and fat.’
    • ‘Scientific research suggests that alpha lipoic acid helps increase the carbohydrate absorption and storage by your muscles, independent of insulin.’
    • ‘Cellulose is a carbohydrate of the polysaccharide type; its molecules consist of long chains of simple sugar molecules.’
    • ‘Antibiotic associated diarrhoea can also result from a decrease in metabolism of carbohydrates and bile acids.’
    • ‘Beverages containing carbohydrate in concentrations of 4 - 8 % are recommended for intense exercise events lasting longer than one hour.’
    • ‘Among genes participating in carbohydrate metabolism, two distinct groups were recognized.’
    • ‘When they start to feed a sudden shift from fat to carbohydrate metabolism occurs and secretion of insulin increases.’
    • ‘The body readily converts alcohol to carbohydrate - each gram provides about seven calories.’
    • ‘Glycerol is a carbohydrate with a chemical composition similar to that of simple sugar.’
    • ‘These properties are not present in the cauliflower's constituents, such as carbohydrates or water.’
    • ‘Carbohydrate is the primary energy source used by the body during distance / endurance events.’
    • ‘It is here when you have used up all your carbohydrate energy stores and can really begin to struggle.’
    • ‘When used in a vaccine, these pieces of carbohydrate stimulate the immune system to make antibodies against the real carbohydrate targets on the bacteria.’
    • ‘The hard component was often formed from calcium carbonate, as found in shellfish, but other durable defences were provided by chitin (a complex carbohydrate) in crustaceans and insects.’
    • ‘Carbohydrate comes in two forms - starches and sugars - and both types have been shown to help improve performance by boosting the body's stores of glycogen.’
    1. 1.1Food consisting of or containing a lot of carbohydrates.
      ‘before the event I will starve myself of carbohydrates and eat a lot of protein’
      • ‘I don't eat too much carbohydrate.’
      • ‘"You feel like you're eating healthily, but most people pick the carbohydrates that contain more sugars, such as pastas and breads."’
      • ‘The month before I go on a trip I eat lots of carbohydrates - oatcakes, brown rice and potatoes - at every meal.’
      • ‘When we are hungry and low on energy you will find your body craving carbohydrates.’
      • ‘They say a low-fat diet is dangerous because it invites us to eat too many carbohydrates.’
      • ‘I'm not saying we should not eat carbohydrates.’
      • ‘Carbohydrates eaten just before you wind down and go to bed don't get digested or burned up as efficiently as when we are active.’
      • ‘When I ate fewer carbohydrates, my appetite decreased.’
      • ‘I still eat quite a lot of carbohydrates but fairly plain things.’
      • ‘Friends talked ecstatically of losing pounds by not eating carbohydrates, or only eating meat.’
      • ‘I know that when I eat fewer carbohydrates I feel healthier and have more energy.’
      • ‘Posh people don't eat carbohydrates any more, so there is no point in opening Italian restaurants.’
      • ‘"Active women need to eat carbohydrates," explains Kristia.’
      • ‘The South Beach Diet is similar, but allows more carbohydrate consumption.’
      • ‘After you finish your workout, you may crave carbohydrates to replenish the glycogen stores you've depleted.’
      • ‘More than half the recipes have 10 grams of carbohydrates or less.’
      • ‘Winter for me means constantly craving carbohydrates to send me into a drowsy state of contented bliss.’
      • ‘Reduce your carbohydrates to 40 - 70 grams a day for three consecutive days to burn the stored glycogen out of your muscles.’
      • ‘Also, when carbohydrates are eaten, it stimulates the body to burn carbohydrate as fuel, and this can be at the expense of the body's fat-burning potential.’
      • ‘Carbohydrates, especially when eaten alone, boost levels of serotonin, a neurotransmitter that is associated with positive mood states.’


Mid 19th century: from carbo- + hydrate.