[ chahr-kohl ]
/ ˈtʃɑrˌkoʊl /


the carbonaceous material obtained by heating wood or other organic substances in the absence of air.
a drawing pencil of charcoal.
a drawing made with charcoal.

verb (used with object)

to blacken, write, or draw with charcoal.
to cook (food) over charcoal, especially on a grill.

verb (used without object)

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


char·coal·y, adjective Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2020

Example sentences from the Web for charcoal

British Dictionary definitions for charcoal

/ (ˈtʃɑːˌkəʊl) /


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
a stick or pencil of this for drawing
a drawing done in charcoal
short for charcoal grey


(tr) to write, draw, or blacken with charcoal

Word Origin for charcoal

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

Medical definitions for charcoal

[ chärkōl′ ]


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

Scientific definitions for charcoal

[ chärkōl′ ]

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.