Carbon Copy

What Does Carbon Copy Mean?

Carbon copy (cc or c.c.) refers to the process of sending a copy of an email message to one or more recipients. It is used in Internet-based email communication systems to simultaneously broadcast or address multiple email addresses. Carbon copy is also known as first carbon copy (first cc) or courtesy copy (cc).


Techopedia Explains Carbon Copy

Inspired by traditional print-based communication, the carbon copy (cc) concept is now applied to email messages. Generally, there is no limit to the number of recipients included in the cc field. Carbon copy works like the "To" element and email body but provides a method of separately addressing primary and secondary contacts.

For example, an email addressed to a manager may be useful for the manager’s team members or related personnel. Thus, the manager’s email address is entered in the "To" field, and other recipients are added to the "CC" field.

Recipients that are carbon copied on email messages have the ability to see and reply to all email addresses in the "CC" and "To" fields.


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Margaret Rouse

Margaret Rouse is an award-winning technical writer and teacher known for her ability to explain complex technical subjects to a non-technical, business audience. Over the past twenty years her explanations have appeared on TechTarget websites and she's been cited as an authority in articles by the New York Times, Time Magazine, USA Today, ZDNet, PC Magazine and Discovery Magazine.Margaret's idea of a fun day is helping IT and business professionals learn to speak each other’s highly specialized languages. If you have a suggestion for a new definition or how to improve a technical explanation, please email Margaret or contact her…