Main definitions of char in English

: char1char2char3char4

char1

verb

[WITH OBJECT]
  • 1 Partially burn (an object) so as to blacken its surface.

    ‘their bodies were badly charred in the fire’
    ‘charred remains’
    • ‘Following a fire in October 2000, the roofs were completely destroyed and all timber roof supports in the building were badly charred.’
    • ‘Their bodies were not charred and their identification papers were intact.’
    • ‘It was just a sort of blackened, charred wreckage, smoke rising and emergency services all over the place.’
    • ‘The body was badly charred as an intense fire had burned close to where it was found.’
    • ‘The formerly bright brickwork of nearby buildings was charred and blackened.’
    • ‘All that can be seen inside the house is the black charred remains of furniture.’
    • ‘Trees and shrubs were charred and burning, and the grass around her had been burnt to a crisp.’
    • ‘In total, more than 2,650 square kilometres were left charred by the fires that blazed for weeks.’
    • ‘The fire started in the front room and quickly engulfed it charring the ceiling, stairwell and door-frames before spreading to the hallway.’
    • ‘On the outside, the town was charred, scorched, and barren.’
    • ‘I lightly char fresh asparagus on a hot ridged griddle pan for maximum flavour.’
    • ‘The next day revealed the carnage: dead bodies, charred remains of shops and vehicles, and further clashes between police and pupils, joined by street gangs.’
    • ‘All over his body, he saw a thin, glowing mesh that burned brighter and brighter by the second, burning and charring his flesh.’
    • ‘Carving single blocks of beech, ash, wild cherry or oak, he darkens the figures' surfaces by lightly charring them, after which he polishes them so that they seem to glow.’
    • ‘Fires have burnt most of the uprights to charred stumps but the thick wooden corner posts are still intact.’
    • ‘If the toast is slightly charred at the edges then even better.’
    • ‘I bite on the cube of lightly charred meat and chew.’
    • ‘About 30 charred bodies lay in rows, covered with red blankets near the wreckage.’
    • ‘The roads were littered with debris - bricks, bottles, charred gas canisters, all presumably used as missiles at some point by the hundreds of youths intent on violence.’
    • ‘Its frame bears evidence of several singed areas where candles charred it.’
    scorch, burn, singe, sear
    blacken, discolour
    toast
    carbonize, calcine
    torrefy
    View synonyms
    1. 1.1[no object](of an object) become blackened or discolored by partial burning.
      • ‘The edges burned first, immediately charring at the edges and then working its way inward.’
      • ‘The fires from the orphanage did burn true even though the wood had charred and foundations crumbled.’
      • ‘The painted wood was charring, burning, sinking slowly in and the last Stars and Stripes flying in the sun was gradually fading in the heat.’
      • ‘Wood chars and therefore burns slowly.’

noun

  • Material that has been charred.

    • ‘The first mouthful of the crust of the ribs gives a smell of char, and then the tastebuds are stimulated by the peppery inside and by the sweet honey basted on the ribs, which helps remove some of the hotness.’
    • ‘Soot and char make it difficult for equipment operators to judge wood quality of the stems being harvested.’
    • ‘The rest of the material forms char, which is nearly pure carbon, and ash, which is all of the unburnable minerals in the wood (calcium, potassium, and so on).’
    • ‘This is being done to preserve chip quality as the spikes drive particles of soot and char into the wood beyond the bark, which contaminates the wood going to chipping.’
    • ‘The bottom was covered in good cornmeal and natural char from the brick-lined oven.’

Origin

Late 17th century: apparently a back-formation from charcoal.

Pronunciation:

char

/CHär/

Main definitions of char in English

: char1char2char3char4

char2

noun

British
informal
  • A charwoman.

    • ‘In this, Mike Leigh's first television drama, Mrs Thornley quietly endures a life of unceasing domestic work: as a char for Mrs Stone and at home for her demanding husband, Jim.’
    • ‘Agnes, I should explain, is our char who comes twice weekly to make the house sparkle.’
    • ‘In Ian Talbot's production, the piece is perfectly played by Jennifer Piercey as the char and Martin Ledwith as her fake son.’
    • ‘The film's central character Vera Drake played by Imelda Staunton, who was nominated for a rash of best actress awards, is a char whose concern for her family and neighbours is the driving force of her life.’
    • ‘Agnes, our char who comes in once a week and transforms our household chaos into sparkling order, is also a whiz at the sewing machine.’

verb

[NO OBJECT]British
informal
  • Work as a charwoman.

    • ‘She charred for Jewish families (picking up some Yiddish as she did) and the day of her death she had earned 6d cleaning at her lodging house.’
    • ‘Her mother had gone out charring for a few hours a day for long periods.’
    • ‘She charred for a princess and then became a hippie.’

Pronunciation:

char

/CHär/

Main definitions of char in English

: char1char2char3char4

char3

(also chai, cha)

noun

British
informal
  • Tea.

    • ‘Now I have seen many things in my short life and even spent a couple of nights in the Amazon Jungle trying to cook a kebab with a lighter but the sales are another cup of chai altogether.’
    • ‘Afterwards, we sipped chai in one of the tea stalls which had sprung up in the outer cloisters of the temple.’
    • ‘This sustained us, along with the countless cups of sweet chai and herb-infused omelettes delivered by the boys at every station.’
    • ‘And got stuck into my book, while sipping a hot cup of chai.’
    • ‘Yesterday evening I went round to Katie's for cha and chat.’

Origin

Late 16th century (as cha; rare before the early 20th century): from Chinese ( Mandarin dialect) chá.

Pronunciation:

char

/CHär/

Main definitions of char in English

: char1char2char3char4

char4

(also charr)

noun

  • A troutlike freshwater or marine fish of northern countries, widely valued as a food and game fish.

    brook trout
    , → speckled trout
    , and → charr
    • ‘Other venues will the smaller rivers and lakes, often buried deep in the forests, where anglers can expect to catch grayling, brown trout and arctic char.’
    • ‘Bring a rod and fish nearby Hadley Bay, where many a guest has landed a 25-pound silver char.’
    • ‘Many times in the past, especially during April, I have shot the surrounding area for rabbits at dawn and dusk then fished for the char and trout from breakfast until tea, often stopping for a lunch of home made soup and bread.’
    • ‘The char spawn in the fall, months after his boat has been removed from the river.’
    • ‘Quite a few of the small, deep lakes in the West of Ireland still hold stocks of char, but much smaller in size than those found in Lough Mask.’

Pronunciation:

char

/CHär/