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See more synonyms for anthracite on Thesaurus.com
  1. a mineral coal containing little of the volatile hydrocarbons and burning almost without flame; hard coal.
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Origin of anthracite

1810–15; probably < French < Latin (Pliny) anthracītis kind of coal. See anthrac-, -ite1
Also called anthracite coal.
Related formsan·thra·cit·ic [an-thruh-sit-ik] /ˌæn θrəˈsɪt ɪk/, an·thra·cit·ous [an-thruh-sahy-tuh s] /ˈæn θrəˌsaɪ təs/, adjective
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

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Examples from the Web for anthracite

Historical Examples

  • On the contrary, England will find it advantageous to come to us for our anthracite.

    Chambers's Edinburgh Journal, No. 445


  • Anthracite coal was known in this country only as a hard black rock.

    Checking the Waste

    Mary Huston Gregory

  • The second kind of coal, the sort that is hard and bright, is anthracite.

    Diggers in the Earth

    Eva March Tappan

  • There are gradations from bituminous coal into anthracite coal.

  • I have heard that it is the only place in the world where anthracite has been found.

    Derrick Sterling

    Kirk Monroe

British Dictionary definitions for anthracite


  1. a hard jet-black coal that burns slowly with a nonluminous flame giving out intense heat. Fixed carbon content: 86–98 per cent; calorific value: 3.14 × 10 7 –3.63 × 10 7 J/kgAlso called: hard coal
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Derived Formsanthracitic (ˌænθrəˈsɪtɪk), adjective

Word Origin

C19: from Latin anthracītes type of bloodstone, from Greek anthrakitēs coal-like, from anthrax coal, anthrax
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 anthracite


"non-bituminous coal," 1812, earlier (c.1600) a type of ruby-like gem described by Pliny, from Latin anthracites "bloodstone, semi-precious gem," from Greek anthrakites "coal-like," from anthrax (genitive anthrakos) "live coal" (see anthrax). Related: Anthractic (adj.).

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Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper

anthracite in Science


  1. A hard, shiny coal that has a high carbon content. It is valued as a fuel because it burns with a clean flame and without smoke or odor, but it is much less abundant than bituminous coal. Compare bituminous coal lignite.
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The American Heritage® Science Dictionary Copyright © 2011. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.