- to burn to coal or charcoal.
- to provide with coal.
- to take in coal for fuel.
- heap coals of fire on someone's head, to repay evil with good in order to make one's enemy repent.
- rake/haul/drag/call/take over the coals, to reprimand; scold: They were raked over the coals for turning out slipshod work.
Origin of coal
Examples from the Web for coal
Good governance would mean sticks and coal for too many of our favorite politicians.Santa Fails One More Time
P. J. O’Rourke
December 27, 2014
Life can be tough in West Virginia, especially for the hardworking souls of coal country.Local News Anchor Dances At His Desk
Jack Holmes, The Daily Beast Video
November 6, 2014
The aforementioned stories may very well be legitimate, but let's consider them a sort of canary in the coal mine.Brace Yourself: October Election Surprises Surely on the Way
October 31, 2014
Of Taylor Swift's many famous boyfriends: "She has seen more shafts than a coal miner."Melissa Rivers: Life After Joan—A Funny, Moving Celebration on a Special 'Fashion Police'
September 20, 2014
But by 1974, the coal that had made the island so profitable ran dry, and gas had become the most sought after fuel source.Japan's James Bond Villain Ghost Town
August 7, 2014
Built on fear and run by fear, fear is as essential to their existence as coal to our industries.The Conquest of Fear
In using this device, only a coal or a wood stove is practical.Woman's Institute Library of Cookery, Vol. 5
Woman's Institute of Domestic Arts and Sciences
Should a coal fall into the dripping-pan take it out immediately.Directions for Cookery, in its Various Branches
It'd be cheaper than coal, I thought; that's why I invented it.The Fortune Hunter
Louis Joseph Vance
There was also a large supply of gunpowder, ball, and shot, and coal and wood in abundance.The Field of Ice
- one or more lumps of coal
- short for charcoal
- coals to Newcastle something supplied where it is already plentiful
- haul someone over the coals to reprimand someone
- to take in, provide with, or turn into coal
Word Origin and History for coal
Old English col "charcoal, live coal," from Proto-Germanic *kula(n) (cf. Old Frisian kole, Middle Dutch cole, Dutch kool, Old High German chol, German Kohle, Old Norse kol), from PIE root *g(e)u-lo- "live coal" (cf. Irish gual "coal").
Meaning "mineral consisting of fossilized carbon" is from mid-13c. First mentioned (370 B.C.E.) by Theophrastus in his treatise "On Stones" under the name lithos anthrakos (see anthrax). Traditionally good luck, coal was given as a New Year's gift in England, said to guarantee a warm hearth for the coming year. The phrase drag (or rake) over the coals was a reference to the treatment meted out to heretics by Christians. To carry coals "do dirty work," also "submit to insult" is from 1520s. To carry coals to Newcastle (c.1600) Anglicizes Greek glauk eis Athenas "owls to Athens."
- A dark-brown to black solid substance formed from the compaction and hardening of fossilized plant parts in the presence of water and in the absence of air. Carbonaceous material accounts for more than 50 percent of coal's weight and more than 70 percent of its volume. Coal is widely used as a fuel, and its combustion products are used as raw material for a variety of products including cement, asphalt, wallboard and plastics. See more at anthracite bituminous coal lignite.