9 Grammatical Pitfalls


[hahy-druh-kahr-buh n, hahy-druh-kahr-] /ˌhaɪ drəˈkɑr bən, ˈhaɪ drəˌkɑr-/
any of a class of compounds containing only hydrogen and carbon, as an alkane, methane, CH 4 , an alkene, ethylene, C 2 H 4 , an alkyne, acetylene, C 2 H 2 , or an aromatic compound, benzene, C 6 H 6 .
Origin of hydrocarbon
1820-30; hydro-2 + carbon
Related forms
hydrocarbonaceous, adjective Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2015.
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Examples from the web for hydrocarbons
  • He invented the basic methods of artificially binding nitrogen through the use of hydrocarbons.
  • Nitrogen oxide and hydrocarbons from those emissions then cook to form ozone.
  • hydrocarbons become irrelevant against a theoretically unlimited power supply.
  • In the coming decades, ever-improving technologies will almost certainly make new sources of hydrocarbons accessible.
  • Liquid hydrocarbons will remain essential for air transport but not necessarily for shipping.
  • The bacteria react hydrocarbons with water to produce large amounts of methane in a process akin to fermentation.
  • Bloom's fuel cell consumes hydrocarbons but doesn't burn them.
  • He thought the temperatures and pressures of the mantle would convert carbonates and water into hydrocarbons.
  • The government hopes the law will reduce the number of social conflicts involving mining and hydrocarbons.
  • It could be made still more effective in that role by being treated with substances that help to break up hydrocarbons.
British Dictionary definitions for hydrocarbons


any organic compound containing only carbon and hydrogen, such as the alkanes, alkenes, alkynes, terpenes, and arenes
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 hydrocarbons



"compound of hydrogen and carbon," 1826, formed in English from hydrogen + carbon.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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hydrocarbons in Medicine

hydrocarbon hy·dro·car·bon (hī'drə-kär'bən)
An organic compound, such as benzene and methane, that contains only carbon and hydrogen.

The American Heritage® Stedman's Medical Dictionary
Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company.
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hydrocarbons in Science
Any of numerous organic compounds, such as benzene, that contain only carbon and hydrogen.
The American Heritage® Science Dictionary
Copyright © 2002. Published by Houghton Mifflin. All rights reserved.
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hydrocarbons in Culture

hydrocarbons definition

Chemical compounds whose main feature is a long chain of carbon atoms bonded to hydrogen atoms. Hydrocarbons are organic molecules.

Note: Many hydrocarbons are used as fuels. Some examples of hydrocarbon fuels are the components of gasoline; methane, which is the main ingredient of natural gas; and some components of wood.
The American Heritage® New Dictionary of Cultural Literacy, Third Edition
Copyright © 2005 by Houghton Mifflin Company.
Published by Houghton Mifflin Company. All rights reserved.
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