Definitions

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

  • n. The stem of a grass or similar plant.
  • n. Waste from anthracite coal mines, consisting of fine coal, coal dust, and dirt.
  • n. Carboniferous shale.
  • n. Inferior anthracite coal.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

  • n. waste coal, used as a poor quality fuel; slack.
  • n. anthracite, especially when found in small masses
  • n. the stem of a plant, especially of grass or sedge

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • n. The stalk or stem of grain and grasses (including the bamboo), jointed and usually hollow.
  • n. Mineral coal that is not bituminous; anthracite, especially when found in small masses.
  • n. The waste of the Pennsylvania anthracite mines, consisting of fine coal, dust, etc., and used as fuel.

from The Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia

  • n. Coal-dust; slack; refuse of coal.
  • n. In mining, a soft or slaty and inferior kind of anthracite, especially that occurring in Devonshire, England.
  • n. The name given by some geologists to a series of rocks which occupy the position of the Carboniferous limestone (see carboniferous), but which, instead of being developed in the form of massive calcareous beds, are made up of slates, sandstones, and conglomerates, and occasional beds of coal, usually of inferior quality.
  • n. In botany, the jointed and usually hollow stem of grasses.

from WordNet 3.0 Copyright 2006 by Princeton University. All rights reserved.

  • n. stem of plants of the Gramineae

Etymologies

Latin culmus, stalk.
Middle English colme, coal dust, perhaps from Old English col, coal.
(American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth Edition)
Perhaps related to coal. Perhaps from Welsh cwlm ("knot or tie"), applied to this species of coal, which is much found in balls or knots in some parts of Wales: compare Old English culme. (Wiktionary)
Borrowed from Latin culmus. (Wiktionary)

Examples

  • Variations in the diameter of the shaft (called a culm), in the prominence of the nodes, and in the rate of tapering at the end of the culm all make certain applications difficult.

    Chapter 7

  • The only way to use the beastly stuff was to mix it with wet, salt mud from the river into what the country people call culm -- then you cut it into blocks, or make balls of it, and it hardens.

    Back to Billabong

  • From the mountainous piles of refuse, of "culm," barefooted children, nearly as black as their miner fathers, were tramping homeward with burdens of coal that they had gleaned from the waste.

    Derrick Sterling A Story of the Mines

  • The method of assaying the black tin is a dry one, and consists of mixing it with "culm," and submitting it in a black-lead crucible to the highest temperature of a wind furnace.

    A Text-book of Assaying: For the Use of Those Connected with Mines.

  • Last we saw, the burning culm dumps had disappeared from the Scranton area so there's no need to have their existence mentioned on the Internet.

    The Pacific Garbage Patch as a tourist destination?

  • The local people have traditionally gathered the mountain's natural resources, firewood and dry culm, snow, sulfur and pumice, wildflowers and colored soils for ornament, pastured their flocks and hived their bees there in summer and till the mid 20th century, made charcoal.

    Teide National Park, Spain

  • Remember when I told you about the culm banks after a snowstorm?

    BLOWN AWAY!

  • Bamboo culm cuttings can be propagated at the rate of four cuttings per square metre of bed.

    4.1 Nursery establishment

  • A section of rooted rhizome and an entire culm is cut out of an established bamboo clump.

    4.1 Nursery establishment

  • After 16 or 28 months in the nursery, culm cuttings that have many rhizomes with more than three shoots will be ready for planting.

    4.1 Nursery establishment

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