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also sea-coal, old name for "mineral coal" (as opposed to charcoal), mid-13c.; earlier, in Old English, it meant "jet," which chiefly was found washed ashore by the sea. The coal perhaps so called from resemblance to jet, or because it was first dug from beds exposed by wave erosion. From sea + coal. As it became the predominant type used, the prefix was dropped.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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Historical Examples
  • It then became an article of increasing export, and “seacoal” fires gradually supplanted those of wood.

    Lives of the Engineers Samuel Smiles
  • Having ascertained that Thames was at his heels, he hurried with his ghastly burthen down seacoal Lane.

    Jack Sheppard, Vol. III (of III) W. Harrison Ainsworth

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