- 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.
- the Carboniferous Period or System.
Origin of Carboniferous
Examples from the Web for carboniferous
On the whole the Carboniferous seems to have been a time of subsidence in the West.The Elements of Geology
William Harmon Norton
The first is in veins in the carboniferous or mountain limestone.
There are carboniferous basins of great extent and richness.Hesperothen; Notes from the West, Vol. II (of 2)
W. H. Russell
The Carboniferous genus, Pleuracanthus, has about 115 vertebræ.
The species are chiefly confined to rocks of the Carboniferous age.
- yielding coal or carbon
- 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
- the Carboniferous the Carboniferous period or rock system
Word Origin and History for carboniferous
1830 with reference the geological period, from a word formed in English in 1799 to mean "coal-bearing," from Latin carbo (genitive carbonis) "coal" (see carbon) + -ferous "producing, containing, bearing," from ferre "to bear" (see infer). The great coal beds of Europe were laid down during this period. As a stand-alone noun (short for Carboniferous Period) from 1940s.
- 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.