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[kahr-boh-hahy-dreyt, -buh-] /ˌkɑr boʊˈhaɪ dreɪt, -bə-/
any of a class of organic compounds that are polyhydroxy aldehydes or polyhydroxy ketones, or change to such substances on simple chemical transformations, as hydrolysis, oxidation, or reduction, and that form the supporting tissues of plants and are important food for animals and people.
Origin of carbohydrate
1865-70; carbo- + hydrate
Related forms
noncarbohydrate, noun Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2015.
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Examples from the web for carbohydrate
  • It allows a dieter to eat as much protein as he-or she-craves, so long as only negligible amounts of carbohydrate are consumed.
  • Fiber is a type of carbohydrate that serves several important functions in the human body.
  • These cells were then infused into three-dimensional beads made from a complex carbohydrate called alginate.
  • It ranges from water to markets to the carbohydrate economy to energy efficiency.
  • The brain's demand for tryptophan creates a craving for carbohydrate.
  • Until then, though, turning the sunlight into carbohydrate remains a much safer storage technique.
  • Honey is floral nectar cooked down into a thick carbohydrate soup.
  • His early entry into the world of carbohydrate loading is often overlooked.
  • The amounts of total carbohydrate and dietary fiber are minimum amounts.
  • Toasting also breaks down the wood's hemi- cellulose-a complex carbohydrate-into simple sugars.
British Dictionary definitions for carbohydrate


any of a large group of organic compounds, including sugars, such as sucrose, and polysaccharides, such as cellulose, glycogen, and starch, that contain carbon, hydrogen, and oxygen, with the general formula Cm(H2O)n: an important source of food and energy for animals Informal term carb
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition
© William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012
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Word Origin and History for carbohydrate

1851, from carbo-, comb. form of carbon, + hydrate (n.), denoting compound produced when certain substances combine with water, from Greek hydor "water" (see water (n.1)).

The name carbohydrate was given to these compounds because, in composition, they are apparently hydrates of carbon. In structure, however, they are far more complex. [Flood]

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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carbohydrate in Medicine

carbohydrate car·bo·hy·drate (kär'bō-hī'drāt')
Any of a group of organic compounds that includes sugars, starches, celluloses, and gums and serves as a major energy source in the diet of animals; they are produced by photosynthetic plants and contain only carbon, hydrogen, and oxygen, usually in the ratio 1:2:1.

The American Heritage® Stedman's Medical Dictionary
Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company.
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carbohydrate in Science
Any of a large class of organic compounds consisting of carbon, hydrogen, and oxygen, usually with twice as many hydrogen atoms as carbon or oxygen atoms. Carbohydrates are produced in green plants by photosynthesis and serve as a major energy source in animal diets. Sugars, starches, and cellulose are all carbohydrates.
The American Heritage® Science Dictionary
Copyright © 2002. Published by Houghton Mifflin. All rights reserved.
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