charcoal


charcoal
[14] The words char and charcoal are related, but not in the way commonsense might lead one to suppose: for the verb char [17], originally apparently a charcoal-burner’s term, appears to derive from charcoal. So etymologically, the element char has nothing to do with ‘burning’. There are two main suggestions as to charcoal’s origins: firstly that it comes from Old French charbon ‘charcoal’ (related to English carbon); and secondly that it represents the now obsolete English verb chare (see CHARWOMAN), which in Old English times (cerran) meant ‘turn’. On the basis of this theory, the etymological meaning of the word would be ‘turning into charcoal’ (for in Old English, coal meant ‘charcoal’ as well as ‘coal’).

The Hutchinson dictionary of word origins. 2013.

Synonyms:
(more or less pure)


Look at other dictionaries:

  • Charcoal — Char coal , n. [See {Char}, v. t., to burn or to reduce to coal, and {Coal}.] 1. 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 …   The Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • Charcoal — est un super héros créé par Marvel Comics. Il est apparu pour la première fois dans Thunderbolts #19, en 1998. Il est à noter que ce personnage fut créé à la suite d un concours du magazine Wizard. A la suite d un problème de prix non attribué et …   Wikipédia en Français

  • charcoal — (n.) mid 14c., charcole, first element is either O.Fr. charbon charcoal, or, on the current theory, obsolete charren to turn (from O.E. cerran) + cole coal, thus, to turn to coal …   Etymology dictionary

  • charcoal — ► NOUN 1) a porous black form of carbon obtained when wood is heated in the absence of air. 2) a dark grey colour. ORIGIN probably related to COAL(Cf. ↑coaly) in the early sense «charcoal» …   English terms dictionary

  • charcoal — [chär′kōl΄] n. [ME char cole; prob. < charren, to turn (see CHARE) + cole, coal (hence, lit., wood turned to coal)] 1. a porous, amorphous form of carbon produced by destructive distillation of wood or other organic matter and used for… …   English World dictionary

  • Charcoal — For other uses, see Charcoal (disambiguation). Dry charcoal …   Wikipedia

  • charcoal — charcoaly, adj. /chahr kohl /, n. 1. the carbonaceous material obtained by heating wood or other organic substances in the absence of air. 2. a drawing pencil of charcoal. 3. a drawing made with charcoal. v.t. 4. to blacken, write, or draw with… …   Universalium

  • charcoal — [14] The words char and charcoal are related, but not in the way commonsense might lead one to suppose: for the verb char [17], originally apparently a charcoal burner’s term, appears to derive from charcoal. So etymologically, the element char… …   Word origins

  • charcoal — n. 1 a an amorphous form of carbon consisting of a porous black residue from partially burnt wood, bones, etc. b (usu. in pl.) a piece of this used for drawing. 2 a drawing in charcoal. 3 (in full charcoal grey) a dark grey colour. Phrases and… …   Useful english dictionary

  • charcoal — char|coal [ˈtʃa:kəul US ˈtʃa:rkoul] n [Date: 1300 1400; Origin: Probably from char to turn (11 17 centuries) (from Old English cerran) + coal] 1.) [U] a black substance made of burned wood that can be used as ↑fuel ▪ cooking over a charcoal fire… …   Dictionary of contemporary English


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