[ kahr-boh-hahy-dreyt, -buh- ]
See synonyms for carbohydrate on
  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

Other words from carbohydrate

  • non·car·bo·hy·drate, noun

Words Nearby carbohydrate Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2023

How to use carbohydrate in a sentence

British Dictionary definitions for carbohydrate


/ (ˌkɑːbəʊˈhaɪdreɪt) /

  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 animals: Informal 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

Scientific definitions for 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.