Definition of carbon in English:

carbon

noun

  • 1The chemical element of atomic number 6, a nonmetal that has two main forms (diamond and graphite) and that also occurs in impure form in charcoal, soot, and coal.

    • ‘The light elements such as hydrogen, carbon, nitrogen, and oxygen are especially plentiful in space.’
    • ‘The ozone depleting compounds contain combinations of the elements chlorine, fluorine, bromine, carbon and hydrogen.’
    • ‘Every source of soot, every fuel and means of burning it, has its own ratio of soot to organic carbon; few have yet been analyzed.’
    • ‘The biosphere consists of six main elements: carbon, nitrogen, phosphorus, sulphur, oxygen, and hydrogen.’
    • ‘The action of the micro-organisms will reduce the nitrogen, carbon and phosphate levels of the dam.’
    • ‘Proteins are composed of carbon, hydrogen, oxygen, and nitrogen; it is the presence of the last of these which distinguishes proteins from the other materials of life.’
    • ‘Consider the top five constituents of the cosmos, in order of their abundance: hydrogen, helium, oxygen, carbon, and nitrogen.’
    • ‘On the Earth, it is found only in combination with other elements, such as oxygen, carbon, and nitrogen.’
    • ‘After running his models, Saumon concluded that in Saturn, heavy elements like iron, silicon, carbon, nitrogen and oxygen are concentrated in the core of the planet.’
    • ‘Combustion, or burning, is a chemical process involving carbon, hydrogen and oxygen.’
    • ‘Most plants live with their heads above ground, where they pick up carbon, hydrogen and oxygen floating in the air.’
    • ‘We know that the Moon is low on certain chemicals such as hydrogen and carbon.’
    • ‘For common cast iron, the main elements of the chemical composition are carbon and silicon.’
    • ‘Silicon reacts chemically like carbon although it does not form multiple bonds.’
    • ‘The plan is that these will determine the abundance and stable isotopic compositions of elements such as hydrogen, carbon, nitrogen and oxygen.’
    • ‘One possibility of this sort of manipulation could turn carbon into either graphite or diamond.’
    • ‘Then again, a diamond is only carbon (with a skin of hydrogen, one molecule thick): why shouldn't it be almost as combustible as coal?’
    • ‘The amount of carbon in the coal will combine in combustion with oxygen, and it has to go somewhere.’
    • ‘The search for life focuses mostly on planets with liquid water, a heat or energy source, and chemicals like carbon, hydrogen, and oxygen.’
    • ‘It is composed mostly of isotopes of hydrogen and helium and includes 60 other elements including neon, argon carbon, nitrogen, oxygen and iron.’
    1. 1.1[usually as modifier]Carbon fiber.
      ‘a bike with a carbon frame’
    2. 1.2A rod of carbon in an arc lamp.
      • ‘By the 1970's there was no longer a source for the 2 1/2 inch carbons that were required for this light.’
      • ‘The carbons last approximately 2 hours and then are replaced.’
    3. 1.3A piece of carbon paper or a carbon copy.
      • ‘The first samizdat were typed carbons, definitely not books, just as the Samizdat you are holding now is definitely not the usual literary journal.’
      • ‘If there is a carbon, also ask for that from the clerk and shred it when you go home.’
      • ‘This was in the good old days when you drew your layouts on a massive piece of grid paper outfitted with a carbon layer so there were three copies.’
      • ‘Someone could go through your trash to find discarded receipts or carbons and use them to learn your account numbers.’
      • ‘They glide their tracing wheels (used in sewing) over the top of the carbons.’
      • ‘All copies either had to be produced with carbons or on ‘skins’ fed through the temperamental duplicator.’
      • ‘Luckily, her maid had written receipts and kept the carbons.’
      • ‘Customers were told to keep their carbons so the account number could not be reused.’
      • ‘Also, because the operator making the observation actually does the input, errors caused when someone misinterprets values on poor-quality carbons or misunderstands fine shades of meaning are eliminated.’
  • 2Carbon dioxide or other gaseous carbon compounds released into the atmosphere, associated with climate change.

    ‘the level of carbon in the atmosphere has been consistently rising’
    [as modifier] ‘fossil fuel consumption and carbon emissions continued to rise’
    • ‘This litter decomposes more slowly, resulting in a higher carbon accumulation rate.’

Origin

Late 18th century: from French carbone, from Latin carbo, carbon- coal, charcoal.

Pronunciation:

carbon

/ˈkärbən/