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

  • n. A soft, brownish-black coal in which the alteration of vegetable matter has proceeded further than in peat but not as far as in bituminous coal. Also called brown coal.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

  • n. A low-grade, brownish-black coal

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • n. Mineral coal retaining the texture of the wood from which it was formed, and burning with an empyreumatic odor. It is of more recent origin than the anthracite and bituminous coal of the proper coal series. Called also brown coal, wood coal.

from The Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia

  • n. Brown-coal; imperfectly formed coal, or that in which the original form of the wood is so distinctly preserved that it can be easily recognized by the unaided eye.

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

  • n. intermediate between peat and bituminous coal


from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

From Latin lignum ("firewood") + -ite


  • The subsoil has been rich in lignite deposits for the last 50 years, which is at the same time the main source of electricity production throughout the country.

    Christos Lamprianidis: CoolClimate Art Contest Winner: What Motivated Me

  • If your cousin Annie has a jet belt-clasp or bracelet, and if you find in aunt Edith's box of old treasures an odd - shaped brooch of jet, you may remember the coal again; for jet is only one kind of lignite, which is a name for a certain preparation of coal.

    The Stories Mother Nature Told Her Children

  • Former communist East Germany's power industry was heavily reliant on brown coal, or lignite, which is strip-mined in open pits that can sometimes be the size of small towns.

    Arguing From the Inside

  • Coal is an impure form of carbon derived from the gradual oxidation and destruction of vegetable matters by natural causes; thus wood first changes into a peaty substance, and subsequently into a body called lignite, which again in its turn becomes converted into the different varieties of coal; these changes, which have resulted in the accumulation of vast beds of coal in the crust of the earth, have been going on for ages.

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

  • The searching occupies but little time, as they look only among the lignite, which is at once obvious.

    Journals of Travels in Assam, Burma, Bhootan, Afghanistan and the Neighbouring Countries

  • A still younger coal, which is soft and has a brownish color, is called lignite, and is found mostly in the South and West.

    The Western United States A Geographical Reader

  • They might easily have been overlooked or confounded with the general glacial drift of the neighbourhood, had not the bed of lignite, which is from 5 to 12 feet thick, been worked for fuel, during which operation many organic remains came to light.

    The Antiquity of Man

  • The company is developing a 4,600-acre mine that would produce about 2.5 million tons of lignite, which is a low-grade coal.

  • To heat that boiler, the damp, crumbly brown coal known as lignite-which is even more polluting than the harder black anthracite variety-burns in the presence of pure oxygen, a process known as oxyfuel, releasing as waste both water vapor and that more notorious greenhouse gas, carbon dioxide (CO2).

    Peak Oil News

  • Mississippi Power, a subsidiary of Atlanta-based Southern Co., says the plant would use a new technology that converts a soft coal called lignite into a gas that would fuel turbines to create electricity.



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