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See also: carbón


Chemical element
C Previous: boron (B)
Next: nitrogen (N)


From French carbone, coined by Lavoisier, from Latin carbō (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 cremare (to burn).



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carbon (countable and uncountable, plural carbons)

  1. (uncountable) The chemical element (symbol C) with an atomic number of 6.
  2. (countable, informal) A sheet of carbon paper.
    • 1939, Raymond Chandler, The Big Sleep, Penguin 2011, p. 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.
  3. (countable, informal) A carbon copy.
  4. A fossil fuel that is made of impure carbon such as coal or charcoal.
  5. (ecology, uncountable) Carbon dioxide, in the context of global warming and climate change.

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carbon m (genitive carboin, no plural)

  1. carbon (element)


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