# What is the bond order of carbon monoxide?

Most Lewis descriptions of carbon monoxide feature a triple bond with formal charge separation of the carbon and oxygen nuclei. There are $6 + 4 = 10$ valence electrons, and these give a ""^(+):O-=C:^(-) Lewis structure. Such a representation rationalizes the coordination of carbon (and not oxygen) to a metal centre.
Around oxygen, there are 7 electrons and hence a positive charge; around carbon there are 7 electrons, and hence the formal negative charge. A Lewis structure of \mathbf( :stackrel(..)"O"=C: can also be advanced as a representation of electronic structure.