carbene

carbene

[kahr-been]
noun
the radical CH 2 and its derivatives.

Origin:
carb- + -ene

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World English Dictionary
carbene (ˈkɑːbiːn)
 
n
chem a neutral divalent free radical, such as methylene: CH2

Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 10th Edition
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Encyclopedia Britannica
Encyclopedia

carbene

any member of a class of highly reactive molecules containing divalent carbon atoms-that is, carbon atoms that utilize only two of the four bonds they are capable of forming with other atoms. Occurring usually as transient intermediates during chemical reactions, they are important chiefly for what they reveal about chemical reactions and molecular structure. In addition, some chemical compounds, particularly those in which the molecules contain carbon atoms arranged in small rings, can best be prepared by the use of carbenes.

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Encyclopedia Britannica, 2008. Encyclopedia Britannica Online.
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