Carboniferous

[ kahr-buh-nif-er-uh s ]
/ ˌkɑr bəˈnɪf ər əs /
Geology
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adjective

noting or pertaining to a period of the Paleozoic Era, including the Pennsylvanian and Mississippian periods as epochs, occurring from 345 million to 280 million years ago.
(lowercase) producing carbon or coal.

noun

the Carboniferous Period or System.

Origin of Carboniferous

1790–1800; < Latin carbōn- (stem of carbō) coal + -i- + -ferous

Related forms

post-Car·bon·if·er·ous, adjectivepre-Car·bon·if·er·ous, adjective
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

Examples from the Web for carboniferous

British Dictionary definitions for carboniferous (1 of 2)

carboniferous

/ (ˌkɑːbəˈnɪfərəs) /

adjective

yielding coal or carbon

British Dictionary definitions for carboniferous (2 of 2)

Carboniferous

/ (ˌkɑːbəˈnɪfərəs) /

adjective

of, denoting, or formed in the fifth period of the Palaeozoic era, between the Devonian and Permian periods, lasting for nearly 64 million years during which coal measures were formed

noun

the Carboniferous the Carboniferous period or rock system
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

Science definitions for carboniferous

Carboniferous

[ kär′bə-nĭfər-əs ]

The period of geologic time from about 360 to 286 million years ago. The term is used throughout the world, although this period of time has been separated into the Mississippian (lower Carboniferous) and Pennsylvanian (upper Carboniferous) in the United States. During this time, widespread swamps formed in which plant remains accumulated and later hardened into coal. See Chart at geologic time.

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