black coal

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black coal (countable and uncountable, plural black coals)

  1. high-quality coal
    • (Can we date this quote?), Walter Hines Page, Arthur Wilson Page, The World's work, Volume 38:
      The drop in 1918 was also a fall in the production of black coal. In other words he losses were in the best coal, the gains in the poorer coal
  2. (nontechnical) coal

Usage notes[edit]

When used in comparison to brown coal or other grades of coal, the specific definition is likely intended. When used in comparison to white coal, or in a non-technical sense, it may mean any type of coal.