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

  • n. A black, porous, carbonaceous material, 85 to 98 percent carbon, produced by the destructive distillation of wood and used as a fuel, filter, and absorbent.
  • n. A drawing pencil or crayon made from this material.
  • n. A drawing executed with such a pencil or crayon.
  • n. A dark grayish brown to black or dark purplish gray.
  • transitive v. To draw, write, or blacken with a black, carbonaceous material.
  • transitive v. To charbroil.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

  • n. Impure carbon obtained by destructive distillation of wood or other organic matter, that is to say, heating it in the absence of oxygen.
  • n. A stick of black carbon material used for drawing.
  • n. A drawing made with charcoal.
  • n. A very dark gray colour.
  • adj. Of a dark gray colour.
  • adj. Made of charcoal.
  • v. To draw with charcoal.
  • v. To cook over charcoal.

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • n. Impure carbon prepared from vegetable or animal substances; esp., coal made by charring wood in a kiln, retort, etc., from which air is excluded. It is used for fuel and in various mechanical, artistic, and chemical processes.
  • n. Finely prepared charcoal in small sticks, used as a drawing implement.

from The Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia

  • n. Coal made by subjecting wood to a process of smothered combustion; more generally, the carbonaceous residue of vegetable, animal, or combustible mineral substances which have been subjected to smothered combustion.
  • n. A pencil of charcoal, used by artists.
  • To blacken, write, or draw with charcoal; execute in charcoal: as, to charcoal one's eyebrows.
  • To suffocate with the fumes of charcoal.

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

  • adj. of a very dark grey
  • n. a drawing made with a stick of black carbon material
  • n. a carbonaceous material obtained by heating wood or other organic matter in the absence of air
  • n. a very dark grey color
  • n. a stick of black carbon material used for drawing
  • v. draw, trace, or represent with charcoal


Middle English charcol : char (perhaps from Old French charbon, from Latin carbō; see carbon) + col, charcoal, coal; see coal.
(American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth Edition)
From Middle English charcole, from charren ("to change, turn", from Old English cierran "to change, turn"") + cole ("coal", from Old English col "coal"), equivalent to char +‎ coal. More at ajar, coal. (Wiktionary)



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