What does carbon mean?

Definitions for carbonˈkɑr bən

Here are all the possible meanings and translations of the word carbon.

Princeton's WordNet

  1. carbon, C, atomic number 6(noun)

    an abundant nonmetallic tetravalent element occurring in three allotropic forms: amorphous carbon and graphite and diamond; occurs in all organic compounds

  2. carbon paper, carbon(noun)

    a thin paper coated on one side with a dark waxy substance (often containing carbon); used to transfer characters from the original to an under sheet of paper

  3. carbon, carbon copy(noun)

    a copy made with carbon paper


  1. Carbon(n.)

    a sheet of carbon paper.

  2. Carbon(n.)

    a carbon copy.

  3. Origin: [F. carbone, fr. L. carbo coal; cf. Skr. r to cook.]


  1. carbon(Noun)

    The chemical element (symbol C) with an atomic number of 6.

  2. carbon(Noun)

    A sheet of carbon paper.

    Make sure the carbon is facing the second sheet of paper, before rolling it into the typewriter.

  3. carbon(Noun)

    A carbon copy.

  4. carbon(Noun)

    A fossil fuel that is made of impure carbon such as coal or charcoal.

  5. carbon(Noun)

    Carbon dioxide, in the context of global warming and climate change.

  6. Origin: from carbo.

Webster Dictionary

  1. Carbon(noun)

    an elementary substance, not metallic in its nature, which is present in all organic compounds. Atomic weight 11.97. Symbol C. it is combustible, and forms the base of lampblack and charcoal, and enters largely into mineral coals. In its pure crystallized state it constitutes the diamond, the hardest of known substances, occuring in monometric crystals like the octahedron, etc. Another modification is graphite, or blacklead, and in this it is soft, and occurs in hexagonal prisms or tables. When united with oxygen it forms carbon dioxide, commonly called carbonic acid, or carbonic oxide, according to the proportions of the oxygen; when united with hydrogen, it forms various compounds called hydrocarbons. Compare Diamond, and Graphite

  2. Origin: [F. carbone, fr. L. carbo coal; cf. Skr. r to cook.]


  1. Carbon

    Carbon is the chemical element with symbol C and atomic number 6. As a member of group 14 on the periodic table, it is nonmetallic and tetravalent—making four electrons available to form covalent chemical bonds. There are three naturally occurring isotopes, with ¹²C and ¹³C being stable, while 14C is radioactive, decaying with a half-life of about 5,730 years. Carbon is one of the few elements known since antiquity. There are several allotropes of carbon of which the best known are graphite, diamond, and amorphous carbon. The physical properties of carbon vary widely with the allotropic form. For example, diamond is highly transparent, while graphite is opaque and black. Diamond is the hardest naturally-occurring material known, while graphite is soft enough to form a streak on paper. Diamond has a very low electrical conductivity, while graphite is a very good conductor. Under normal conditions, diamond, carbon nanotube and graphene have the highest thermal conductivities of all known materials. All carbon allotropes are solids under normal conditions with graphite being the most thermodynamically stable form. They are chemically resistant and require high temperature to react even with oxygen. The most common oxidation state of carbon in inorganic compounds is +4, while +2 is found in carbon monoxide and other transition metal carbonyl complexes. The largest sources of inorganic carbon are limestones, dolomites and carbon dioxide, but significant quantities occur in organic deposits of coal, peat, oil and methane clathrates. Carbon forms more compounds than any other element, with almost ten million pure organic compounds described to date, which in turn are a tiny fraction of such compounds that are theoretically possible under standard conditions.

Chambers 20th Century Dictionary

  1. Carbon

    kär′bon, n. an elementary substance, widely diffused, of which pure charcoal is an example.—n. Car′bide, a compound of carbon with a metal, formerly called Car′buret.—adjs. Carbonā′ceous, Carbon′ic, pertaining to or composed of carbon.—n. Car′bonate, a salt formed by the union of carbonic acid with a base.—adjs. Car′bonated, combined or impregnated with carbonic acid; Carbonif′erous, producing carbon or coal.—n. Carbonisā′tionv.t. Car′bonise, to make into carbon.—Carbonic acid, an acid formed of carbon and oxygen, generally gaseous, and evolved by respiration and combustion. [Fr. carbone—L. carbon-em, coal.]

U.S. National Library of Medicine

  1. Carbon

    A nonmetallic element with atomic symbol C, atomic number 6, and atomic weight 12.011. It may occur as several different allotropes including DIAMOND; CHARCOAL; and GRAPHITE; and as SOOT from incompletely burned fuel.

The Standard Electrical Dictionary

  1. Carbon

    (a) One of the elements; atomic weight, 12. It exists in three allotropic modifications, charcoal, graphite and diamond. In the graphitic form it is used as an electric current conductor, as in batteries and for arc lamp, electrodes and incandescent lamp filaments. It is the only substance which conducts electricity and which cannot be melted with comparative ease by increase of current. (See Resistance.) (b) The carbon plate of a battery or rod of an arc lamp. To secure greater conductivity in lamp carbons, they are sometimes plated with nickel or with copper. (c) v. To place carbons in arc lamps. This has generally to be done once in twenty-four hours, unless the period of burning is very short.

Editors Contribution

  1. carbon

    Is a chemical element.

    Carbon is one of the most abundant element in the Earth's crust, and element in the universe by mass after hydrogen, helium, and oxygen. It is present in all forms of carbon-based life, and in the human body carbon is the second most abundant element by mass (about 18.5%) after oxygen.

Suggested Resources

  1. carbon

    Song lyrics by carbon -- Explore a large variety of song lyrics performed by carbon on the Lyrics.com website.

British National Corpus

  1. Spoken Corpus Frequency

    Rank popularity for the word 'carbon' in Spoken Corpus Frequency: #4022

  2. Written Corpus Frequency

    Rank popularity for the word 'carbon' in Written Corpus Frequency: #2527

  3. Nouns Frequency

    Rank popularity for the word 'carbon' in Nouns Frequency: #1573


  1. Chaldean Numerology

    The numerical value of carbon in Chaldean Numerology is: 2

  2. Pythagorean Numerology

    The numerical value of carbon in Pythagorean Numerology is: 8

Sample Sentences & Example Usage

  1. Ian Duncan:

    The carbon floor price must go.

  2. David Eyton:

    A price on carbon would advantage certain resources.

  3. Kelly Pasco:

    They bring the Lycra and we rent them the carbon fiber bikes.

  4. Bruce Blodgett:

    The carbon footprint is going to be the same whether we build it or not.

  5. Morgan Schaller:

    A comet impact on its own may have contributed carbon to the atmosphere.

Images & Illustrations of carbon

  1. carboncarboncarbon

Translations for carbon

From our Multilingual Translation Dictionary

Get even more translations for carbon »


Find a translation for the carbon definition in other languages:

Select another language:

Discuss these carbon definitions with the community:

Word of the Day

Would you like us to send you a FREE new word definition delivered to your inbox daily?

Please enter your email address:     


Use the citation below to add this definition to your bibliography:


"carbon." Definitions.net. STANDS4 LLC, 2018. Web. 24 Mar. 2018. <https://www.definitions.net/definition/carbon>.

Are we missing a good definition for carbon? Don't keep it to yourself...

Nearby & related entries:

Alternative searches for carbon:

Thanks for your vote! We truly appreciate your support.