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carbohydrate

[kahr-boh-hahy-dreyt, -buh-]
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noun
  1. 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

First recorded in 1865–70; carbo- + hydrate
Related formsnon·car·bo·hy·drate, noun
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

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British Dictionary definitions for carbohydrate

carbohydrate

noun
  1. 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 C m (H 2 O) n : an important source of food and energy for animalsInformal 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

Word Origin and History for carbohydrate

n.

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

carbohydrate in Medicine

carbohydrate

(kär′bō-hīdrāt′)
n.
  1. 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.

carbohydrate in Science

carbohydrate

[kär′bō-hīdrāt′]
  1. 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 © 2011. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.