One of the mysteries of the English language finally explained.
Coal of a hard variety that contains relatively pure carbon and burns with little flame and smoke.Also called hard coal
- ‘Peat is an accumulation of virtually unaltered plant material, while anthracite is nearly pure carbon with little trace of the original plant material.’
- ‘Coal is usually classified into the sub-groups known as anthracite, bituminous, lignite, and peat.’
- ‘‘Unfortunately, Bulgarian coal is lignite, we have no anthracite, no petrol or gas,’ he said.’
- ‘Since the mountains of Appalachia were rich in anthracite, a superior grade of coal, the industry grew rapidly.’
- ‘They all burn anthracite there so the sky is orange.’
Late 16th century (denoting a gem described by Pliny and said to resemble coals, supposedly hydrophane (a type of opal)): from Greek anthrakitēs, from anthrax, anthrak- ‘coal’.
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