noun, often attributive \ˈkōl\

: a black or brownish-black hard substance within the earth that is used as a fuel

: a piece of coal or charcoal especially when burning

: a glowing piece of wood from a fire

Full Definition of COAL

:  a piece of glowing carbon or charred wood :  ember
:  charcoal 1
a :  a black or brownish-black solid combustible substance formed by the partial decomposition of vegetable matter without free access of air and under the influence of moisture and often increased pressure and temperature that is widely used as a natural fuel
b plural British :  pieces or a quantity of the fuel broken up for burning

Examples of COAL

  1. When the coals are red, they are very hot.
  2. I toasted one last marshmallow over the coals of the campfire.

Origin of COAL

Middle English col, from Old English; akin to Old High German & Old Norse kol burning ember, Middle Irish gúal coal
First Known Use: before 12th century

Other Geology Terms

anthracite, boulder, cwm, erratic, igneous, intrusive, mesa, sedimentary, silt, swale



Definition of COAL

transitive verb
:  to burn to charcoal :  char
:  to supply with coal
intransitive verb
:  to take in coal

First Known Use of COAL

COAL Defined for Kids


noun \ˈkōl\

Definition of COAL for Kids

:  a piece of glowing or charred wood :  ember
:  a black solid mineral substance that is formed by the partial decay of plant matter under the influence of moisture and often increased pressure and temperature within the earth and is mined for use as a fuel
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