General English


  • noun a device for mixing air with fuel in the right quantities before combustion

Cars & Driving

  • noun a conventional, mechanical device in the engine fuel system, mixing fuel with air to produce a combustible mixture which is supplied to the inlet manifold

Origin & History of “carburettor”

Carburettor is a derivative of carburet, an obsolete term for what is now known as carbide ‘a carbon compound’. It was originally used for a device for adding carbon to a gas for enhancing its power of illumination; the current application to a device for producing air/fuel vapour in an engine dates from the 1890s. Carburet itself was a later form of carbure, borrowed in the 1790s from French; its ultimate origin was in Latin carbō, source of English carbon.