[klawr-oh-floo r-oh-kahr-buh n, -flawr-; klohr-oh-floo r-oh-kahr-buh n, -flohr-]
  1. any of several volatile, inert, saturated compounds of carbon, fluorine, chlorine, and hydrogen: used as refrigerants, foam-blowing agents, solvents, and, formerly, as aerosol propellants until scientists became concerned about depletion of the atmospheric ozone layer.

Origin of chlorofluorocarbon

First recorded in 1945–50; chloro-2 + fluorocarbon Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

British Dictionary definitions for chlorofluorocarbon


  1. chem any of various gaseous compounds of carbon, hydrogen, chlorine, and fluorine, used as refrigerants, aerosol propellants, solvents, and in foam: some cause a breakdown of ozone in the earth's atmosphereAbbreviation: CFC
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 chlorofluorocarbon

by 1946, from chloro- + fluorocarbon, from fluor + connective -o- + carbon.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper

chlorofluorocarbon in Science


  1. A fluorocarbon containing chlorine. Chlorofluorocarbons are destructive to the Earth's ozone layer. For this reason, the production and use of chlorofluorocarbons has been sharply reduced in recent years.
The American Heritage® Science Dictionary Copyright © 2011. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.