[ lig-nahyt ]

  1. a soft coal, usually dark brown, often having a distinct woodlike texture, and intermediate in density and carbon content between peat and bituminous coal.

Origin of lignite

First recorded in 1800–10; lign- + -ite1

Other words from lignite

  • lig·nit·ic [lig-nit-ik], /lɪgˈnɪt ɪk/, adjective

Words Nearby lignite Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2024

How to use lignite in a sentence

  • Bovey Tracy , six miles north-west of Newton Abbot, is noted for beds of clay and lignite, and for its potteries.

    Devonshire | Francis A. Knight

British Dictionary definitions for lignite


/ (ˈlɪɡnaɪt) /

  1. a brown carbonaceous sedimentary rock with woody texture that consists of accumulated layers of partially decomposed vegetation: used as a fuel. Fixed carbon content: 46–60 per cent; calorific value: 1.28 × 10 7 to 1.93 × 10 7 J/kg (5500 to 8300 Btu/lb): Also called: brown coal

Derived forms of lignite

  • lignitic (lɪɡˈnɪtɪk), adjective

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 lignite


[ lĭgnīt′ ]

  1. A soft, brownish-black form of coal having more carbon than peat but less carbon than bituminous coal. Lignite is easy to mine but does not burn as well as other forms of coal. It is a greater polluter than bituminous coal because it has a higher sulphur content. Compare anthracite bituminous coal.

The American Heritage® Science Dictionary Copyright © 2011. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.