Definition of charcoal in US English:

charcoal

noun

  • 1A porous black solid, consisting of an amorphous form of carbon, obtained as a residue when wood, bone, or other organic matter is heated in the absence of air.

    • ‘Then, certain classes of materials, including wood charcoal and carbonized seeds, were re-examined and identified.’
    • ‘Sited on Salisbury Plain in the United Kingdom, the midden mound contains discrete layer upon layer of flint, charcoal, bones, pottery and excrement.’
    • ‘Thirty yards up the creek to the right was a dry creek in which we discovered three little heaps containing burnt stone, charcoal and bone.’
    • ‘The embers had gone out, leaving a chalky residue of charcoal and ash.’
    • ‘The charcoal thus obtained must be cleaned, reduced to powder, and the powder of the different charcoals is then to be mixed.’
    • ‘Because of its very porous nature, charcoal has the particularly high ratio of surface area to weight required of an absorptive material.’
    • ‘Although the counter also contains a gas-burning barbecue, the Elledges cook on the grill, with wood or charcoal as fuel, most of the time.’
    • ‘Equally valid is exploitation of renewable resources, for example, of grass for grazing, papyrus for thatch, or wood for charcoal.’
    • ‘Black can come from charcoal, which is tasteless and harmless.’
    • ‘When burnt, charcoal gives off carbon monoxide which can kill in a confined space.’
    • ‘France still produced ample wood for charcoal; British ironmasters had to turn to coal.’
    • ‘Three different laboratories produced radiocarbon dates for animal bones and charcoal at the four caves.’
    • ‘This includes incinerators and barbecues which burn solid fuel, e.g. wood or charcoal.’
    • ‘It may cover beech trees so thoroughly that their pale gray bark turns as black as charcoal, with new honeydew drops shining on top.’
    • ‘He said farmers could earn a lot of money if they can venture selling charcoal from the wood on their farms.’
    • ‘About two billion people living in developing countries still rely on wood, charcoal and dung for cooking, heat and light, according to UN figures.’
    • ‘Two charcoal burning furnaces had been erected to turn wattle wood into charcoal.’
    • ‘He also proved that diamond and charcoal both consist of carbon atoms, so are chemically identical.’
    • ‘Women also collect wood for charcoal and go to the markets.’
    • ‘Carbon, in the forms of charcoal, graphite, and diamond, was one of the earliest elements known to man.’
    1. 1.1 Briquettes of charcoal used for barbecuing.
      ‘lamb grilled on charcoal’
    2. 1.2 Charcoal used for drawing.
      • ‘They include such materials as soil, sand, rice flour, ash, white cement, charcoal or pigment, rubbed onto paper or canvas.’
      • ‘He also drew while lying in bed, using sticks of charcoal stuck to the ends of long poles to draw on the walls.’
      • ‘Unwrapping furiously, Alex arranged her new sticks of charcoal, sketching pencils and chalks in the box she'd bought to store them in.’
      • ‘The range of work shown in charcoal, pencil and brush and ink drawings that came out of David Curtis' drawing class were a surprise.’
      • ‘His misty combinations of watercolour, charcoal and pen depict Dali-esque distorted nudes and giant, well-articulated insects.’
      • ‘Contemporary portrait artists work in a variety of media - from oils and acrylics to charcoal, graphite and pastels.’
      • ‘Done in charcoal and displaying occasional smudges, these drawings are unabashedly hand-drawn, but the images are as deadpan as ever.’
      • ‘Moorthy is adept at drawing with pencil, charcoal, watercolours, oils et al and has participated in several exhibitions.’
      • ‘A tour de force of transcription, the new drawings exhibit a nearly sculptural manipulation of charcoal.’
      • ‘Karen Spence is originally from Belfast, but now living in Co Leitrim and her exhibition shows drawings in charcoal, graphite and pencil on paper.’
      • ‘Using watercolours or charcoal and pencil, she uses textured surfaces to suggest the organic natural continuity of her subject matter.’
      • ‘Sudduth usually begins his paintings by sketching his subject on plywood with pencil, charcoal or a soft stone.’
      • ‘The artist may have neglected to size the canvas properly, or may have used odd substances like charcoal which is incompatible with oil paint.’
      • ‘These 60 drawings show Picasso's work on paper with pencil, charcoal, ink and gouache.’
      • ‘He uses oil, watercolor, charcoal, and serigraphs to depict his subjects.’
      • ‘Since then, Jayant has dabbled with oil on canvas, watercolour, charcoal, acrylic, clay and plaster of Paris.’
      • ‘When people think of two-dimensional art, they usually think of work done in oil, watercolor, pastel or charcoal.’
      • ‘I hope to learn to use oil paint, clay and charcoal.’
      • ‘This has been done in three media - pencil, charcoal and watercolours.’
      • ‘Painters used either this mixture or charcoal to trace the first outlines of the fresco composition.’
      ashes, ash, embers
      View synonyms
    3. 1.3 A drawing made using charcoal.
      • ‘If a visitor familiar with the charcoals had come in not knowing this was a show of Weiss's prints, it would have become apparent only when she or he came face to face with the central image in Thoughts, a lithograph.’
      • ‘Their work covers everything from still life to chilling engravings of the holocaust, charcoals of the human form and sculptures of animals.’
      • ‘‘If you've no wish to sell the charcoals,’ Rachel began, ‘I don't at all blame you.'’
      • ‘Her mind strangely quiet as she followed, the well-lit and clearly labeled works of oils, watercolors, and charcoals were barely noticed.’
      • ‘The large charcoals on paper reveal swift gestural movements that resolve into a solitary cabin in a white field or length of heavy chain drifting to the bottom of the sea.’
      • ‘His first two solo shows were a blizzard of styles, combining watercolours and charcoals, landscapes and portraits, and religious paintings crafted lovingly by a committed atheist.’
      • ‘Mr. Lake accepted, introduced Sara as ‘Miss Kreyssler, a friend visiting from abroad’, and then pointedly asked their thoughts and views on the charcoals while offering no hint to what he himself thought.’
      • ‘She sketched him, languid on the couch in her studio, in charcoals, and when she gave it to him, he looked pleased and told her she had insight.’
      • ‘The heavy toolboxes of oils and watercolors and charcoals lined the walls, and the trunk of canvases and boards went opposite the window.’
      • ‘The Edinburgh collection - 27 oils, prints, pastels and charcoals - is undeniably striking.’
      • ‘The portfolio mostly held unfinished charcoals or watercolors, some activities to work on flowing lines and facial expressions, and a few sketches and watercolors of different types of flowers.’
      • ‘On view until October 29, the exhibit presents 55 of the 300 known watercolors, pastels and charcoals by the late artist - many of which have never been seen before.’
      • ‘In fact, he asked me to find him an artist with a high level of ability for charcoals.’
    4. 1.4 A dark gray color.
      as modifier ‘his charcoal sweater’
      • ‘The walls were a dark rose, the carpet was a dark charcoal color, and the dresser was a deep mahogany.’
      • ‘High cheekbones emphasized her straight nose, full lips, and stunning charcoal gray eyes.’
      • ‘Silver looks so much more beautiful on it than a gold alternative because it pulls out the subtle grays and charcoals.’
      • ‘Other dominant squares are painted in a range of olives, muted browns and charcoals.’
      • ‘I hardly remember how I felt as I walked into the school auditorium and took my place by the large, charcoal black Steinway, before playing the long piece I'd chosen.’
      • ‘The sky was a deep charcoal gray outside of the bus.’
      • ‘A black pullover with charcoal slacks is a much more user-friendly combination for your body type than a white oxford shirt and dark jeans.’
      • ‘She has black hair, charcoal eyes, thin lips, and she's pale.’
      • ‘But the sight of a familiar figure - a tall man in a charcoal gray leather coat a few yards away - makes her freeze in place.’
      • ‘Today we are going to introduce to you an exclusive notebook series from Sony designed in charcoal carbon fibre.’
      • ‘Her shirt was sleeveless, loose, low-cut and a charcoal color, complementing her soft blue eyes well.’
      • ‘Your best bet is a dark shade such as black or charcoal gray.’
      • ‘Similarly, natural shades of black and charcoal create simple sophistication.’
      • ‘I still get excited over the yellow-based greens, teamed with neutrals and charcoals and working with natural fibres and textures.’
      • ‘Punk-style jeans offer a rugged look - take your pick among black, charcoal, and very light blue shades.’
      • ‘If everything in your wardrobe is navy, charcoal and black, mix it up with a cool blue, a minty green, or maybe even a subdued orange.’
      • ‘The trees were broken and dead against the charcoal sky.’
      • ‘From the huge stainless steel wardrobe in his dressing alcove he takes the day's fresh white shirt, a charcoal pin-striped suit, and a burgundy silk tie.’
      • ‘In the distance, bare branches sketched a thin pencil outline against the charcoal gray sky.’
      • ‘Pieces were set around a strict palette of ultra black, jet, charcoal and pewter with shots of colour and scatterings of silver sparkle and crystal.’

verb

usually as adjective charcoaled
  • Cook over charcoal.

    ‘charcoaled lobster’
    • ‘I stick the marshmallows into the water and audibly sigh at the hiss and steam rising from the charcoaled treat.’
    • ‘The charcoaled boned chicken sparkles with a spicy and smoky flavour.’
    • ‘Some experts suggest limiting consumption of charcoaled and grilled foods.’

Origin

Late Middle English: probably related to coal in the early sense ‘charcoal’.

Pronunciation

charcoal

/ˈtʃɑrˌkoʊl//ˈCHärˌkōl/