[ chahr-kohl ]
See synonyms for: charcoalcharcoaledcharcoalingcharcoals on

  1. the carbonaceous material obtained by heating wood or other organic substances in the absence of air.

  2. a drawing pencil of charcoal.

  1. a drawing made with charcoal.

verb (used with object)
  1. to blacken, write, or draw with charcoal.

  2. to cook (food) over charcoal, especially on a grill.

verb (used without object)
  1. to cook food over charcoal, especially on a grill.

Origin of charcoal

1300–50; Middle English charcole, perhaps cherrechar3 + colecoal, though literal sense of the compound is unclear

Other words from charcoal

  • charcoaly, adjective

Words Nearby charcoal Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2023

How to use charcoal in a sentence

British Dictionary definitions for charcoal


/ (ˈtʃɑːˌkəʊl) /

  1. 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 absorbent: See activated carbon

  2. a stick or pencil of this for drawing

  1. a drawing done in charcoal

  2. short for charcoal grey

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

Origin of 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

Scientific definitions for charcoal


[ chärkōl′ ]

  1. 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.