Definitions

from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 4th Edition

  • n. Chiefly British A truck, tub, or basket used in a mine.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

  • n. A large basket, especially as used for coal.
  • n. A basket used to contain live fish underwater.
  • n. A wooden frame, sled, or low-wheeled wagon, to convey coal or ore in the mines.

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • n. A basket.
  • n.
  • n. A large basket used in carrying or hoisting coal or ore.
  • n. A wooden frame, sled, or low-wheeled wagon, to convey coal or ore in the mines.

from The Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia

  • n. In coal-mining, a box in which coals are conveyed from the working place to the shaft. This was formerly done in wicker baskets, whence the name. Also cauf.
  • n. A local English measure of coal. In Durham it is 4 bushels, or 3¼ hundredweight; in Derbyshire, 2¼ level bushels, or 2 hundredweight.
  • n. Also corve.
  • n. A small mine-car of wood or iron.

Etymologies

Middle English, basket, from Middle Dutch corf or Middle Low German korf, both probably from Latin corbis.
(American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth Edition)
Via Middle Low German korf or Middle Dutch korf, from Latin corbis ‘basket’. (Wiktionary)

Examples

  • [Footnote 1: A corf is a large basket used for carrying coals or other minerals in a mine.]

    Miscellanea

  • "Or perhaps a half-corf, such as this wee one is carrying."

    A Place Called Freedom

  • "You weigh a good deal less than a corf full of coal," he said with a smile.

    A Place Called Freedom

  • She was barefoot and carried on her back a corf half full of coal.

    A Place Called Freedom

  • The miner stopped the girl and one of his women lifted the corf.

    A Place Called Freedom

  • The miner, seemingly expecting this, caught her, and she felt the weight lifted from her back as the woman removed the corf.

    A Place Called Freedom

  • Although her child was only a week or so old, the poor woman was carrying a full corf.

    A Place Called Freedom

  • Jen lifted Wullie and slung him over her shoulder: his weight was nothing to a woman who could carry a full corf of coal up these stairs twenty times in a fifteen-hour shift.

    A Place Called Freedom

  • All they could suggest was corf sone which my mother took in the form of tablets and injections in her neck.

    WILD SWANS THREE DAUGHTERS OF CHINA

  • "Yes, 'e' as got a corf," said Emily, watching Maggie with all her eyes.

    The Captives

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