n.1 a non-metallic element occurring naturally as diamond, graphite, and charcoal, and in all organic compounds.
2 a carbon copy. b carbon paper.
3 a rod of carbon in an arc lamp.
Phrases and idioms:
carbon black a fine carbon powder made by burning hydrocarbons in insufficient air. carbon copy
1. a copy made with carbon paper.
2 a person or thing identical or similar to another (is a carbon copy of his father). carbon cycle Biol. the cycle in which carbon compounds are interconverted, usu. by living organisms. carbon dating the determination of the age of an organic object from the ratio of isotopes which changes as carbon-14 decays. carbon dioxide a colourless odourless gas occurring naturally in the atmosphere and formed by respiration.
Chem. formula: CO2 carbon disulphide a colourless liquid used as a solvent.
Chem. formula: CS2 carbon fibre a thin strong crystalline filament of carbon used as strengthening material in resins, ceramics, etc. carbon-14 a long-lived radioactive carbon isotope of mass 14, used in radiocarbon dating, and as a tracer in biochemistry. carbon monoxide a colourless odourless toxic gas formed by the incomplete burning of carbon.
Chem. formula: CO carbon paper a thin carbon-coated paper used for making (esp. typed) copies. carbon steel a steel with properties dependent on the percentage of carbon present. carbon tetrachloride a colourless volatile liquid used as a solvent.
Chem. formula: CCl4 carbon-12 a carbon isotope of mass 12, used in calculations of atomic mass units.
Etymology: F carbone f. L carbo -onis charcoal