Borrowed from French carbone, coined by Lavoisier, from Latin carbō, carbōnem (“charcoal, coal”), from Proto-Indo-European *ker- (“to burn”), see also Old English heorþ (“hearth”), Old Norse hyrr (“fire”), Gothic 𐌷𐌰𐌿𐍂𐌹 (hauri, “coal”), Old High German harsta (“roasting”), Russian церен (ceren, “brazier”), Old Church Slavonic крада (krada, “hearth, fireplace”), Lithuanian kuriu (“to heat”), karstas (“hot”) and krosnis (“oven”), Sanskrit कृष्ण (kṛṣṇa, “burnt, black”) and कूडयति (kūḍayati, “singes”), Latin cremō (“I consume or destroy by fire, burn; I burn something to ashes; I cremate; I make a burnt offering”).
carbon (countable and uncountable, plural carbons)
- (uncountable) The chemical element (symbol C) with an atomic number of 6.
- (countable) An atom of this element, in reference to a molecule containing it.
- A methane molecule is made up of a single carbon with four hydrogens.
- (countable, informal) A sheet of carbon paper.
- 1939, Raymond Chandler, The Big Sleep, Penguin 2011, page 51:
- He stepped back and opened his bag and took out a printed pad of D.O.A. forms and began to write over a carbon.
- (countable, informal) A carbon copy.
- A fossil fuel that is made of impure carbon such as coal or charcoal.
- (ecology, uncountable) Carbon dioxide, in the context of global warming and climate change.
- A carbon rod or pencil used in an arc lamp.
- A plate or piece of carbon used as one of the elements of a voltaic battery.
Terms derived from carbon
informal: a sheet of carbon paper
impure carbon (e.g., coal, charcoal)
ecology: carbon dioxide, in the context of global warming
- The translations below need to be checked and inserted above into the appropriate translation tables, removing any numbers. Numbers do not necessarily match those in definitions. See instructions at Wiktionary:Entry layout#Translations.
Translations to be checked
carbon (third-person singular simple present carbons, present participle carboning, simple past and past participle carboned)
- (Internet, intransitive) To cause (someone) to receive a carbon copy of an email message.
- When I send it, I'll carbon Julia so she's aware.