charcoal

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English[edit]

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Charcoal burning
Artists' charcoal (charcoal sticks, used for drawing)
A charcoal (charcoal drawing) of a young girl. The drawing has been charcoaled with a charcoal stick.

Etymology[edit]

From Middle English charcole, from charren (to change, turn) + cole (coal), from Old English cierran (to change, turn) + col (coal); equivalent to char (Etymology 3 (verb)) +‎ coal.

Pronunciation[edit]

Noun[edit]

charcoal (usually uncountable, plural charcoals)

  1. (countable, uncountable) impure carbon obtained by destructive distillation of wood or other organic matter, that is, heating it in the absence of oxygen.
    • 1837, L[etitia] E[lizabeth] L[andon], Ethel Churchill: Or, The Two Brides. [], volume II, London: Henry Colburn, [], OCLC 21345056, pages 325–326:
      The grate was laid with charcoal, to that she put a light, and then, as if she had forgotten something, hurried to the library, and carefully locked the door. First returning to see that the fire had kindled, she then went to the window, which, with the first gleam of moonlight, she cautiously unclosed, and stepped into the shrubbery.
    • 2006, Edwin Black, chapter 2, in Internal Combustion[1]:
      But through the oligopoly, charcoal fuel proliferated throughout London's trades and industries.  By the 1200s, brewers and bakers, tilemakers, glassblowers, pottery producers, and a range of other craftsmen all became hour-to-hour consumers of charcoal.
  2. (countable) A stick of black carbon material used for drawing.
    • 1879, Th Du Moncel, The Telephone, the Microphone and the Phonograph, page 166:
      He takes the prepared charcoal used by artists, brings it to a white heat, and suddenly plunges it in a bath of mercury, of which the globules instantly penetrate the pores of charcoal, and may be said to metallize it.
  3. (countable) A drawing made with charcoal.
  4. A very dark gray colour.
    charcoal:  

Translations[edit]

Adjective[edit]

charcoal (comparative more charcoal, superlative most charcoal)

  1. Of a dark gray colour.
  2. Made of charcoal.
    • 2006, Edwin Black, chapter 2, in Internal Combustion[2]:
      But through the oligopoly, charcoal fuel proliferated throughout London's trades and industries.  By the 1200s, brewers and bakers, tilemakers, glassblowers, pottery producers, and a range of other craftsmen all became hour-to-hour consumers of charcoal.

Derived terms[edit]

Related terms[edit]

Translations[edit]

Verb[edit]

charcoal (third-person singular simple present charcoals, present participle charcoaling, simple past and past participle charcoaled)

  1. To draw with charcoal.
  2. To cook over charcoal.

See also[edit]