from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 5th Edition.

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

from The Century Dictionary.

  • To blacken, write, or draw with charcoal; execute in charcoal: as, to charcoal one's eyebrows.
  • To suffocate with the fumes of charcoal.
  • noun 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.
  • noun A pencil of charcoal, used by artists.

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English.

  • noun 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.
  • noun (Fine Arts) Finely prepared charcoal in small sticks, used as a drawing implement.
  • noun a fine charcoal prepared by calcining bones in a closed vessel; -- used as a filtering agent in sugar refining, and as an absorbent and disinfectant.
  • noun the black pigment, consisting of burnt ivory, bone, cock, peach stones, and other substances.
  • noun (Fine Arts) a drawing made with charcoal. See Charcoal, 2. Until within a few years this material has been used almost exclusively for preliminary outline, etc., but at present many finished drawings are made with it.
  • noun a carbon pencil prepared for use in an electric light apparatus.
  • noun a term applied to silky fibrous layers of charcoal, interlaminated in beds of ordinary bituminous coal; -- known to miners as mother of coal.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License.

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

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

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


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

[Middle English charcol : char (perhaps from Old French charbon, from Latin carbō; see carbon) + col, charcoal, coal; see coal.]

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

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.


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