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From their general formula Cn(H2O)n; they were once thought to be hydrates of carbon.



carbohydrate (plural carbohydrates)

  1. (organic chemistry, nutrition) A sugar, starch, or cellulose that is a food source of energy for an animal or plant.
    Synonyms: (informal) carb, saccharide; see also Thesaurus:carbohydrate
    These microbes are primarily responsible for breaking down cellulose and other carbohydrates into volatile fatty acids (VFAs).
    • 2013 September-October, Katie L. Burke, “In the News”, in American Scientist:
      Oxygen levels on Earth skyrocketed 2.4 billion years ago, when cyanobacteria evolved photosynthesis: the ability to convert water and carbon dioxide into carbohydrates and waste oxygen using solar energy.
  2. (colloquial, by extension, metonymically) Any food rich in starch or other carbohydrates.
    I'm cutting down on carbohydrates like bread and pasta.

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