Stands for "Carbon Copy."

Cc is one of the standard email address fields. It is meant for secondary recipients of a message, while the To field is for its primary recipients. All email addresses in a message's Cc field receive a copy of the message, and will also receive any replies sent using the Reply All command. The term comes from the historic use of carbon paper to create copies of written documents and forms.

Standard email courtesy reserves the Cc field for secondary recipients of an email message who benefit from being informed of the message's contents but whose input is not necessary. The To field, on the other hand, is for the primary participants in the exchange. For example, two coworkers discussing how to split up tasks in a project would exchange emails with each other's address in the To field; adding their manager's email address to the Cc field will keep them in the loop. In effect, the Cc field is an 'FYI' field.

Every recipient of an email can see the addresses in both the To and Cc fields. The Blind Carbon Copy (Bcc) address field is for situations where a sender wants to hide a recipient's email address from other recipients. The Bcc field can keep a single recipient secret or prevent recipients of a mass email from knowing everyone else's email address. Addresses in the Bcc field will also not receive replies if another recipient sends a Reply All message.

Updated December 19, 2023 by Brian P.

quizTest Your Knowledge

What is the email field used for copying recipients called?

Correct! Incorrect!     View the Cc definition.
More Quizzes →

The Tech Terms Computer Dictionary

The definition of Cc on this page is an original definition written by the team. If you would like to reference this page or cite this definition, please use the green citation links above.

The goal of is to explain computer terminology in a way that is easy to understand. We strive for simplicity and accuracy with every definition we publish. If you have feedback about this definition or would like to suggest a new technical term, please contact us.

Sign up for the free TechTerms Newsletter

How often would you like to receive an email?

You can unsubscribe or change your frequency setting at any time using the links available in each email.

Questions? Please contact us.