Definition of hydrocarbon in US English:



  • A compound of hydrogen and carbon, such as any of those which are the chief components of petroleum and natural gas.

    ‘the rain is rich in benzene and hydrocarbons’
    as modifier ‘a 70 percent cut in hydrocarbon emissions’
    mass noun ‘the North Sea is a source of hydrocarbon’
    • ‘This catalyst is responsible for converting carbon monoxide and the other hydrocarbons into carbon dioxide.’
    • ‘Derived chiefly from petroleum and coal tar, aromatic hydrocarbons tend to be reactive.’
    • ‘The squad checks the autorickshaw for carbon monoxide and hydrocarbon emissions.’
    • ‘Nitrogen oxides can react with hydrocarbons to yield nitric acid, a primary ingredient in acid rain.’
    • ‘Biodiesel reduces emissions such as carbon monoxide, unburned hydrocarbons and particulate matter.’