Definitions

from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 4th Edition

  • n. Any of a group of organic compounds that includes sugars, starches, celluloses, and gums and serves as a major energy source in the diet of animals. These compounds are produced by photosynthetic plants and contain only carbon, hydrogen, and oxygen, usually in the ratio 1:2:1.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

  • n. A sugar, starch, or cellulose that is a food source of energy for an animal or plant; a saccharide.

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • n. One of a group of compounds including the sugars, starches, and gums, which contain six (or some multiple of six) carbon atoms, united with a variable number of hydrogen and oxygen atoms, but with the two latter always in proportion as to form water; as dextrose, C6H12O6.

from The Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia

  • n. A general name for a group of organic bodies containing 6 carbon atoms or some multiple of 6, and hydrogen and oxygen in the proportion in which they form water (H2O), that is, twice as many hydrogen as oxygen atoms, as starch, sugar, and cellulose. Also carbhydrate.

from WordNet 3.0 Copyright 2006 by Princeton University. All rights reserved.

  • n. an essential structural component of living cells and source of energy for animals; includes simple sugars with small molecules as well as macromolecular substances; are classified according to the number of monosaccharide groups they contain

Etymologies

From their general formula Cn(H2O)n; they were once thought to be hydrates of carbon. (Wiktionary)

Examples

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