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[noo-kas-uh l, -kah-suh l, nyoo-]
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  1. 1st Duke of. Pelham-Holles, Thomas.
  2. Also called New·cas·tle-up·on-Tyne [noo-kas-uh l-uh-pon-tahyn, -uh-pawn-, -kah-suh l-, nyoo-] /ˈnuˌkæs əl əˌpɒnˈtaɪn, -əˌpɔn-, -ˌkɑ səl-, ˈnyu-/. a seaport in Tyne and Wear, in NE England, on the Tyne River: shipbuilding; major coal center.
  3. a seaport in E New South Wales, in SE Australia.
  4. a town in SE Ontario, in S Canada, NE of Toronto, on Lake Ontario.
  1. carry coals to Newcastle,
    1. to take something to a place where its kind exists in great quantity.
    2. to do something wholly unnecessary.
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018
British Dictionary definitions for carry coals to newcastle


  1. a port in SE Australia, in E New South Wales near the mouth of the Hunter River: important industrial centre, with extensive steel, metalworking, engineering, shipbuilding, and chemical industries. It suffered Australia's first recorded fatal earthquake, in 1989. Pop: 279 975 (2001)


  1. Duke of, the title of Thomas Pelham Holles. 1693–1768, English Whig prime minister (1754–56; 1757–62): brother of Henry Pelham
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition © William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012

carry coals to newcastle in Culture

carry coals to Newcastle

To do something that is obviously superfluous; Newcastle is a city in northeast England where coal is mined: “Karen wanted to give Dad a magazine subscription for his birthday, but I said that would be like carrying coals to Newcastle, since he already has fifteen or twenty subscriptions.”

The New Dictionary of Cultural Literacy, Third Edition Copyright © 2005 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.

Idioms and Phrases with carry coals to newcastle

carry coals to Newcastle

Do or bring something superfluous or unnecessary, as in Running the sprinkler while it's raining, that's carrying coals to Newcastle. This metaphor was already well known in the mid-1500s, when Newcastle-upon-Tyne had been a major coal-mining center for 400 years. It is heard less often today but is not yet obsolete.


The American Heritage® Idioms Dictionary Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company.