Definitions

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

  • n. A dense, shiny coal that has a high carbon content and little volatile matter and burns with a clean flame. Also called hard coal.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

  • n. A form of carbonized ancient plants; the hardest and cleanest-burning of all the coals; hard coal.

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • n. A hard, compact variety of mineral coal, of high luster, differing from bituminous coal in containing little or no bitumen, in consequence of which it burns with a nearly non luminous flame. The purer specimens consist almost wholly of carbon. Also called glance coal and blind coal.
  • n. See Anthracite.

from The Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia

  • n. A variety of mineral coal (see coal) containing but little hydrogen, and therefore burning almost without flame.
  • Coal-black: as, the anthracite hawk, Urubitinga anthracina.

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

  • n. a hard natural coal that burns slowly and gives intense heat

Etymologies

Probably ultimately from Greek anthrakitis, a kind of coal, from anthrax, anthrak-, charcoal.
(American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth Edition)
From Latin, from Ancient Greek ἀνθρακῖτις (anthrakitis, "a kind of coal"), from ἄνθραξ (anthrax, "charcoal") (Wiktionary)

Examples

  • In the mountains of Pennsylvania the same coal beds, somewhat affected by the metamorphism which all the rocks of the Alleghanies have shared, have reached the stage of _semi-bituminous_ coals, where half the volatile constituents have been driven off; again, in the anthracite basins of eastern Pennsylvania, the distillation further effected has formed from these coals _anthracite_, containing only from three to ten per cent. of volatile matter; while in the focus of metamorphic action, at Newport,

    Scientific American Supplement, No. 362, December 9, 1882

  • Anthracite -- The name anthracite, or hard coal, is applied to those dry coals containing from 3 to 7 per cent volatile matter and which do not swell when burned.

    Steam, Its Generation and Use

  • Since, however, Canada receives practically all her anthracite from the Wyoming Basin which now supplies about half the anthracite produced on the Continent, at the present rate of production this basin will be exhausted in about thirty-five years, and we cannot expect large supplies from Pennsylvania for many more years.

    The Coal Situation

  • We have been quite fairly treated in Toronto in so far as anthracite is concerned this winter.

    The Coal Situation

  • For ordinary household purposes the best substitute for anthracite is coke.

    The Coal Situation

  • But from the best anthracite, which is nearly pure carbon concentrated, if oxygen be entirely excluded, not much can distil away with any degree of heat.

    The Atlantic Monthly, Volume 02, No. 08, June 1858

  • The steam engine uses coal, the producer requires English anthracite, which is dearer; the gas motor uses a great deal of water and a great deal of oil, which cost money; and gas motors are dear, while gas producers and their adjuncts cost a tidy bit of money, and wear out pretty fast.

    Scientific American Supplement, No. 799, April 25, 1891

  • This coal, known as anthracite, is not found extensively in the United States outside of Pennsylvania.

    The Western United States A Geographical Reader

  • In America, the kind called anthracite occurs among the slate beds, and this species also abounds more in the mountain limestone than with us.

    Vestiges of the Natural History of Creation

  • There are very many different kinds of coal; some are rich in hydrogen, and are therefore well adapted for making illuminating gas, while others, such as anthracite, are very rich in carbon, and contain but little hydrogen; the last named variety of coal is smokeless, and is therefore largely used for drying malt.

    Scientific American Supplement, No. 288, July 9, 1881

Comments

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  • Anthracite seams prise open, gush.
    You re-kindle your flat fire.

    - Peter Reading, The Prison Cell & Barrel Mystery, from The Prison Cell & Barrel Mystery, 1976

    June 23, 2008