follow Dictionary.com

Your favorite word could be our Word of the Day!

carbon monoxide

noun
1.
a colorless, odorless, poisonous gas, CO, that burns with a pale-blue flame, produced when carbon burns with insufficient air: used chiefly in organic synthesis, metallurgy, and in the preparation of metal carbonyls, as nickel carbonyl.
Origin
1870-1875
1870-75
Dictionary.com Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2014.
Cite This Source
British Dictionary definitions for carbon monoxide

carbon monoxide

noun
1.
a colourless odourless poisonous flammable gas formed when carbon compounds burn in insufficient air and produced by the action of steam on hot carbon: used as a reducing agent in metallurgy and as a fuel. Formula: CO
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
Cite This Source
Word Origin and History for carbon monoxide
n.

1869, so called because it consists of one carbon and one oxygen atom (as opposed to carbon dioxide, which has two of the latter). An older name for it was carbonic oxide gas.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
Cite This Source
carbon monoxide in Medicine

carbon monoxide n.
A colorless, odorless, highly poisonous gas that is formed by the incomplete combustion of carbon or of a carbonaceous material, such as gasoline.

The American Heritage® Stedman's Medical Dictionary
Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company.
Cite This Source
carbon monoxide in Science
carbon monoxide  
A colorless, odorless gas formed when a compound containing carbon burns incompletely because there is not enough oxygen. It is present in the exhaust gases of automobile engines and is very poisonous. Chemical formula: CO.
The American Heritage® Science Dictionary
Copyright © 2002. Published by Houghton Mifflin. All rights reserved.
Cite This Source
carbon monoxide in Culture
carbon monoxide (CO)

A compound made up of molecules containing one carbon atom and one oxygen atom.

Note: Carbon monoxide is usually formed when materials burn; it is found, for example, in automobile exhaust.
Note: Carbon monoxide is a colorless, odorless gas that can be fatal to human beings if inhaled.
The American Heritage® New Dictionary of Cultural Literacy, Third Edition
Copyright © 2005 by Houghton Mifflin Company.
Published by Houghton Mifflin Company. All rights reserved.
Cite This Source

Word of the Day

Difficulty index for carbon monoxide

Few English speakers likely know this word

Word Value for carbon

10
13
Scrabble Words With Friends

Nearby words for carbon monoxide