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verb (used with object), charred, char·ring.
  1. to burn or reduce to charcoal: The fire charred the paper.
  2. to burn slightly; scorch: The flame charred the steak.
verb (used without object), charred, char·ring.
  1. to become charred.
  1. a charred material or surface.
  2. charcoal.
  3. a superior carbon-rich fuel, a by-product of the conversion of coal into gaseous or liquid fuel.

Origin of char1

1670–80; apparently extracted from charcoal; see chark


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2. singe, sear.


[chahr]Chiefly British
  1. a charwoman.
  2. a task, especially a household chore.
  3. chars, odd jobs, especially of housework, for which one is paid by the hour or day.
verb (used without object), charred, char·ring.
  1. to work at housecleaning by the day or hour; hire oneself out to do odd jobs.
verb (used with object), charred, char·ring.
  1. to do (housework, odd jobs, or chores); clean or repair.

Origin of char3

1375–1425; late Middle English, Old English cerr, cierr turn, time, occasion, affair, derivative of cierran to turn
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

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British Dictionary definitions for charred


verb chars, charring or charred
  1. to burn or be burned partially, esp so as to blacken the surface; scorch
  2. (tr) to reduce (wood) to charcoal by partial combustion

Word Origin

C17: short for charcoal



noun plural char, chars, charr or charrs
  1. any of various troutlike fishes of the genus Salvelinus, esp S. alpinus, occurring in cold lakes and northern seas: family Salmonidae (salmon)

Word Origin

C17: of unknown origin


  1. informal short for charwoman
verb chars, charring or charred
  1. British informal to do housework, cleaning, etc, as a job

Word Origin

C18: from Old English cerr


  1. British a slang word for tea

Word Origin

from Chinese ch'a
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 charred



"to reduce to charcoal," 1670s, probably a back-formation from charcoal (q.v.). Related: Charred; charring.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper

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