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Definition of "carbon" []

  • A naturally abundant nonmetallic element that occurs in many inorganic and in all organic compounds, exists freely as graphite and diamond and as a constituent of coal, limestone, and petroleum, and is capable of chemical self-bonding to form an enormous number of chemically, biologically, and commercially important molecules. Atomic number 6; atomic weight 12.011; sublimation point above 3,500°C; boiling point 4,827°C; specific gravity of amorphous carbon 1.8 to 2.1, of diamond 3.15 to 3.53, of graphite 1.9 to 2.3; valence 2, 3, 4. See Table at element. (noun)
  • A sheet of carbon paper. (noun)
  • A carbon copy. (noun)
  • Electricity Either of two rods through which current flows to form an arc, as in lighting or welding. (noun)
  • Electricity A carbonaceous electrode in an electric cell. (noun)
  • A nonmetallic element existing in the three crystalline forms: graphite, diamond, and buckminsterfullerene: occurring in carbon dioxide, coal, oil, and all organic compounds. The isotope carbon-12 has been adopted as the standard for atomic wt; carbon-14, a radioisotope with a half-life of 5700 years, is used in radiocarbon dating and as a tracer. Symbol: C; atomic no: 6; atomic wt: 12.011; valency: 2, 3, or 4; relative density: 1.8–2.1 (amorphous), 1.9–2.3 (graphite), 3.15–3.53 (diamond); sublimes at 3367±25°C; boiling pt: 4827°C (noun)

American Heritage(R) Dictionary of the English Language, Fifth Edition. Copyright (c) 2011 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.

  • (as modifier) (noun)
  • A carbon electrode used in a carbon-arc light or in carbon-arc welding (noun)
  • A rod or plate, made of carbon, used in some types of battery (noun)
  • A nonmetallic element existing in the three crystalline forms: graphite, diamond, and buckminsterfullerene: occurring in carbon dioxide, coal, oil, and all organic compounds. The isotope carbon-12 has been adopted as the standard for atomic wt; carbon-14, a radioisotope with a half-life of 5700 years, is used in radiocarbon dating and as a tracer. Symbol: C; atomic no: 6; atomic wt: 12.011; valency: 2, 3, or 4; relative density: 1.8–2.1 (amorphous), 1.9–2.3 (graphite), 3.15–3.53 (diamond); sublimes at 3367±25°C; boiling pt: 4827°C (noun)

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Use "carbon" in a sentence
  • "Methods of extraction 1) by heat alone: thermal decomposition  silver oxide sliver + oxygen 2) by heating with carbon  copper +carbon copper + carbon oxide dioxide"
  • "But is there any way to just toss away the term carbon tax and replace it with the carbon dioxide credit program, where 100% of the credit collected by the government would be returned to the taxpayer?"
  • "The term carbon equivalent is used because very often, there are other greenhouse gases involved other than carbon dioxide."