carboniferous, a. [Carbon + -ferous.].
Carboniferous age (Geol.), the age immediately following the Devonian, or Age of fishes, and characterized by the vegetation which formed the coal beds. This age embraces three periods, the Subcarboniferous, the Carboniferous, and Permian. See Age of acrogens, under Acrogen. -- Carboniferous formation (Geol.), the series of rocks (including sandstones, shales, limestones, and conglomerates, with beds of coal) which make up the strata of the Carboniferous age or Carboniferous period. See the Diagram under Geology.