Coal definition

kōl
Frequency:
To provide with coal.
verb
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To take on coal.
verb
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The definition of coal is a dark brown to black carbon-rich rock that is mined from mountains or below ground and is burned as fuel.
noun
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A glowing or charred piece of solid fuel.
noun
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To burn (a combustible solid) to a charcoal residue.
verb
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A coal power plant works continuously to burn coal to produce electricity.
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The process requires the addition of large amounts of water which is then recycled back into the process.
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Coal cannot be burned efficiently in its natural form. It must be pulverized.
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Hot air is added to the pulverized coal powder and it is burned. The burning coal heats a boiler which makes steam to power a generator that creates electricity.

An example of coal is the fuel used to grill meat on an outdoor grill using briquettes.

noun
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Charcoal.
noun
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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.
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A piece of this substance.
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A dark brown to black combustible sedimentary rock that is used as a fuel source. It accounts for the generation of about 55 percent of the total electricity output in the United States. The United States has 30 percent of the world’s bituminous and anthracite coal reserves, more than any other country except China, which consumes nearly all of its own production. Coal futures are traded on the New York Mercantile Exchange (NYMEX). Coal futures are a relatively new addition to the NYMEX, with trading beginning only in the late 1990s. Its trading symbol is QL.
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(uncountable) A black rock formed from prehistoric plant remains, composed largely of carbon and burned as a fuel.
noun
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(countable) 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.

Put some coals on the fire.

Put some coal on the fire.

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(countable) A type of coal, such as bituminous, anthracite, or lignite, and grades and varieties thereof.
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(countable) A smouldering piece of material.

Just as the camp-fire died down to just coals, with no flames to burn the marshmallows, someone dumped a whole load of wood on, so I gave up and went to bed.

noun
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(intransitive) To take on a supply of coal (usually of steam ships).
verb
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(intransitive) To be converted to charcoal.
verb
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To burn to charcoal; to char.
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To mark or delineate with charcoal.

verb
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To supply with coal.

To coal a steamer.

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(law) Abbreviation of coalition.
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A kind of dark-brown to black, combustible, sedimentary rock resulting from the partial decomposition of vegetable matter away from air and under varying degrees of increased temperature and pressure over a period of millions of years: used as a fuel and in the production of coke, coal gas, water gas, and many coal-tar compounds.
noun
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A piece (or collectively, pieces) of this rock.
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A piece of glowing or charred wood, coal, or similar substance; ember.
noun
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Charcoal.
noun
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To reduce (a substance) to charcoal by burning.
verb
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To provide with coal.
verb
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To take in a supply of coal.
verb
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A dark-brown to black solid substance formed from the compaction and hardening of fossilized plant parts in the presence of water and in the absence of air. Carbonaceous material accounts for more than 50 percent of coal's weight and more than 70 percent of its volume. Coal is widely used as a fuel, and its combustion products are used as raw material for a variety of products including cement, asphalt, wallboard and plastics.
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haul over the coals
  • to criticize sharply; censure; scold
idiom
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heap coals of fire on someone's head
  • to cause someone to feel remorse by returning good for evil: Prov. 25:22
idiom
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Other Word Forms

Noun

Singular:
coal
Plural:
coals

Idioms and Phrasal Verbs

Origin of coal

  • Middle English col from Old English

    From American Heritage Dictionary of the English Language, 5th Edition

  • From Middle English cole, from Old English col, from Proto-Germanic *kulą, 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”)).

    From Wiktionary