Dictionary.com
definitions
  • synonyms

charcoal

[chahr-kohl]
See more synonyms on Thesaurus.com
noun
  1. the carbonaceous material obtained by heating wood or other organic substances in the absence of air.
  2. a drawing pencil of charcoal.
  3. a drawing made with charcoal.
verb (used with object)
  1. to blacken, write, or draw with charcoal.
  2. to cook (food) over charcoal, especially on a grill.
verb (used without object)
  1. to cook food over charcoal, especially on a grill.

Origin of charcoal

1300–50; Middle English charcole, perhaps cherre char3 + cole coal, though literal sense of the compound is unclear
Related formschar·coal·y, adjective
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

Examples from the Web for charcoal

Contemporary Examples

Historical Examples


British Dictionary definitions for charcoal

charcoal

noun
  1. a black amorphous form of carbon made by heating wood or other organic matter in the absence of air: used as a fuel, in smelting metal ores, in explosives, and as an absorbentSee activated carbon
  2. a stick or pencil of this for drawing
  3. a drawing done in charcoal
  4. short for charcoal grey
verb
  1. (tr) to write, draw, or blacken with charcoal

Word Origin

C14: from char (origin obscure) + coal
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

Word Origin and History for charcoal

n.

mid-14c., charcole, first element is either Old French charbon "charcoal," or, on the current theory, obsolete charren "to turn" (from Old English cerran) + cole "coal," thus, "to turn to coal."

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper

charcoal in Medicine

charcoal

(chärkōl′)
n.
  1. Carbon obtained by heating or burning organic material with restricted access of air.
  2. Activated charcoal.
The American Heritage® Stedman's Medical Dictionary Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company.

charcoal in Science

charcoal

[chärkōl′]
  1. A black porous form of carbon produced by heating wood or bone in little or no air. Charcoal is used as a fuel, for drawing, and in air and water filters.
The American Heritage® Science Dictionary Copyright © 2011. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.