from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 4th Edition
- n. A natural dark brown to black graphitelike material used as a fuel, formed from fossilized plants and consisting of amorphous carbon with various organic and some inorganic compounds.
- n. A piece of this substance.
- n. A glowing or charred piece of solid fuel.
- n. Charcoal.
- transitive v. To burn (a combustible solid) to a charcoal residue.
- transitive v. To provide with coal.
- intransitive v. To take on coal.
from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License
- n. A black rock formed from prehistoric plant remains, composed largely of carbon and burned as a fuel.
- n. A piece of coal used for burning. Note that in British English the first of the following examples would usually be used, whereas in American English the latter would.
- n. A type of coal, such as bituminous, anthracite, or lignite, and grades and varieties thereof.
- n. A smouldering piece of material.
- v. To take on a supply of coal (usually of steam ships).
- v. To be converted to charcoal.
from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English
- n. A thoroughly charred, and extinguished or still ignited, fragment from wood or other combustible substance; charcoal.
- n. A black, or brownish black, solid, combustible substance, dug from beds or veins in the earth to be used for fuel, and consisting, like charcoal, mainly of carbon, but more compact, and often affording, when heated, a large amount of volatile matter.
- transitive v. To burn to charcoal; to char.
- transitive v. To mark or delineate with charcoal.
- transitive v. To supply with coal.
- intransitive v. To take in coal.
from The Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia
- n. A piece of wood or other combustible substance, either ignited or burning (a “live coal” or “glowing coal”), or burned out or charred (a “dead coal,” charcoal, cinder).
- n. A solid and more or less distinctly stratified mineral, varying in color from dark-brown to black, brittle, combustible, and used as a fuel, not fusible without decomposition, and very insoluble.
- n. Same as slack.
- To burn to coal or charcoal; make into coal; char.
- To mark or delineate with charcoal.
- To provide with coal; furnish a supply of coal to or for: as, to coal a steamship or a locomotive.
- To take in coal for use as fuel: as, the vessel coaled at Portsmouth.
- n. Coal which will not fuse together and cohere in masses when burned. It is desirable that coal should do this for forge fires in certain kinds of work.
from WordNet 3.0 Copyright 2006 by Princeton University. All rights reserved.
- v. take in coal
- n. a hot fragment of wood or coal that is left from a fire and is glowing or smoldering
- v. supply with coal
- n. fossil fuel consisting of carbonized vegetable matter deposited in the Carboniferous period
- v. burn to charcoal
Middle English col, from Old English.(American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth Edition)
Middle English cole, from Old English col, from Proto-Germanic *kulan, from Proto-Indo-European *gʷol- (compare Irish gúal ‘coal’, Tocharian B śoliye ‘hearth’, Persian زغال (zuvāl) ‘live coal’), from *gʷelH- ‘to glow, burn’ (compare Lithuanian žvìlti ‘to twinkle, glow’, Sanskrit ज्वलति (jvalati, "to burn, glow")). (Wiktionary)