from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 4th Edition
- n. A weak, unstable acid, H2CO3, present in solutions of carbon dioxide in water.
from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License
- n. a weak unstable acid, H2CO3, known only in solution, and as carbonate salts; it is present in carbonated drinks, and sparkling wine, but decomposes to form carbon dioxide and water
from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English
- adj. an acid HO.CO.OH, not existing separately, which, combined with positive or basic atoms or radicals, forms carbonates. In common language the term is very generally applied to a compound of carbon and oxygen, CO2, more correctly called carbon dioxide. It is a colorless, heavy, irrespirable gas, extinguishing flame, and when breathed destroys life. It can be reduced to a liquid and solid form by intense pressure. It is produced in the fermentation of liquors, and by the combustion and decomposition of organic substances, or other substances containing carbon. It is formed in the explosion of fire damp in mines, and is hence called after damp; it is also know as choke damp, and mephitic air. Water will absorb its own volume of it, and more than this under pressure, and in this state becomes the common soda water of the shops, and the carbonated water of natural springs. Combined with lime it constitutes limestone, or common marble and chalk. Plants imbibe it for their nutrition and growth, the carbon being retained and the oxygen given out.
from WordNet 3.0 Copyright 2006 by Princeton University. All rights reserved.
- n. a weak acid known only in solution; formed when carbon dioxide combines with water
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