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[kahr-buh-rey-ter, -byuh-] /ˈkɑr bəˌreɪ tər, -byə-/
a device for mixing vaporized fuel with air to produce a combustible or explosive mixture, as for an internal-combustion engine.
Also, carburator, carbureter; especially British, carburettor, carburetter
[kahr-byuh-ret-er] /ˈkɑr byəˌrɛt ər/ (Show IPA)
Origin of carburetor
First recorded in 1860-65; carburet + -or2 Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2017.
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Examples from the Web for carburettor
Historical Examples
  • To discover a carburettor which would vaporize this crude oil was difficult.

    The Great Airship. F. S. Brereton
  • You couldn't expect fuel to reach the carburettor when she was standing on her head.

    The Great Airship. F. S. Brereton
  • We just operate this geared fan, and force air through the carburettor.

    The Great Airship. F. S. Brereton
  • He tried an alteration in the carburettor mixture, but this did not remedy matters.

  • It was fully dark before the difficulty 103 was remedied by a careful readjustment of the carburettor.

  • As the gasoline is sprayed into the carburettor a quantity of air is drawn in from the outside.

  • In starting an engine, the petrol tap is turned on, and some of the spirit allowed to run into the carburettor.

    The Aeroplane

    Claude Grahame-White and Harry Harper
  • It was an hour's task to dry the carburettor and the magneto and get the engine running.

  • Bleriot, following, succeeded in covering one side of the triangular course, but then came down through grit in the carburettor.

    A History of Aeronautics E. Charles Vivian
  • Bleriot, turning out in the morning, made a landing in some such fashion as flooded the carburettor and caused it to catch fire.

    A History of Aeronautics E. Charles Vivian
British Dictionary definitions for carburettor


/ˌkɑːbjʊˈrɛtə; ˈkɑːbjʊˌrɛtə; -bə-/
a device used in petrol engines for atomizing the petrol, controlling its mixture with air, and regulating the intake of the air-petrol mixture into the engine Informal term carb Compare fuel injection
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 carburettor



device to enhance a gas flame, 1866, from carburet "compound of carbon and another substance" (1795, now displaced by carbide), also used as a verb, "to combine with carbon" (1802); from carb-, comb. form of carbon, + -uret, an archaic suffix formed from Modern Latin -uretum to parallel French words in -ure. Motor vehicle sense is from 1896.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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