• synonyms


[kahr-bahyd, -bid]
  1. a compound of carbon with a more electropositive element or group.
  2. calcium carbide.
  3. a very hard mixture of sintered carbides of various heavy metals, especially tungsten carbide, used for cutting edges and dies.
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Origin of carbide

First recorded in 1860–65; carb- + -ide
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

Examples from the Web for carbide

Historical Examples of carbide

  • The carbide lamps were held close to the fuses for a second.

    The Cross-Cut

    Courtney Ryley Cooper

  • Harry unhooked his carbide from his belt, lit it and looked around.

    The Cross-Cut

    Courtney Ryley Cooper

  • The carbide falls into the generator, the bottom of which is open.

  • Fig. 10 applies to the introduction of the carbide into the water.

  • There, I meant to fill the carbide tank to-day, said Ned, but I forgot all about it.

    The Motor Boys Afloat

    Clarence Young

British Dictionary definitions for carbide


  1. a binary compound of carbon with a more electropositive elementSee also acetylide
  2. See calcium carbide
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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 carbide


compound formed by combination of carbon and another element, 1848, from carb-, comb. form of carbon + chemical suffix -ide. The earlier word was carburet.

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Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper

carbide in Science


  1. A chemical compound consisting of carbon and a more electropositive element, such as calcium or tungsten. Many carbides, especially those made of carbon and a metal, are very hard and are used to make cutting tools and abrasives.
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The American Heritage® Science Dictionary Copyright © 2011. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.