Also found in: Dictionary, Thesaurus, Medical, Acronyms, Encyclopedia, Wikipedia.
Like this video? Subscribe to our free daily email and get a new idiom video every day!
1. A copy of a document that is made by placing a sheet of carbon paper under the original so that the print gets transferred from the original to the sheet of paper below it. Carbon copies are largely obsolete but are still used in some cases for receipts. Could you please make a carbon copy of that invoice? I need it for my records.
2. To include additional recipients on an email message that is intended for, or directed to, another person. Often abbreviated as "cc." Please carbon copy me on that email to Janice. I want her to know I am aware of the situation.
3. A person or thing that closely resembles someone or something else in looks or attributes. Even though they were born several years apart, Darren is a carbon copy of his brother. They have the same gait, mannerisms, and hairstyle.
A person or thing that closely resembles another, as in Our grandson is a carbon copy of his dad. Originally this term meant a copy of a document made by using carbon paper. The linguistic transfer to other kinds of duplicate survived the demise of carbon paper (replaced by photocopiers, computer printers, and other more sophisticated devices). [c. 1870]
a carbon copy
COMMON If one person or thing is a carbon copy of another, the two people or things are identical, or very similar. Hugh was a carbon copy of his father, Edward; both had the same blond hair and easy charm. The town, almost a carbon copy of Gualdo, is best known for its mineral waters. Note: A carbon copy of a document is an exact copy of it which is made using carbon paper.
carbon copya person or thing identical or very similar to another.
The expression comes from the idea of an exact copy of written or typed material made by using carbon paper.
a ˌcarbon ˈcopya person or thing that is exactly or extremely like another: The recent robberies in Leeds are a carbon copy of those that have occurred in Halifax over the last few months.
A carbon copy is a copy of a document, letter, etc. made by placing carbon paper (= thin paper with a dark substance on one side) between two sheets of paper.
Also, cc. An exact duplication. The original carbon copy, long used for correspondence and other written materials, was made by placing a sheet of carbon paper between two sheets of paper, the top one to be copied onto the blank bottom sheet by pressure from a pen, typewriter, or other instrument. Although this type of duplication has become largely obsolete, replaced by photocopying and electronic printers, it survives in the abbreviation cc, used to signal additional recipients of a letter or e-mail. A 1981 film, Carbon Copy, uses the term in the figurative sense; in it a white man discovers he has a black son who wants to be adopted.