char·​coal | \ ˈchär-ˌkōl How to pronounce charcoal (audio) \

Definition of charcoal

 (Entry 1 of 2)

1 : a dark or black porous carbon prepared from vegetable or animal substances (as from wood by charring in a kiln from which air is excluded)
2a : a piece or pencil of fine charcoal used in drawing
b : a charcoal drawing
3 : a dark gray


charcoaled; charcoaling; charcoals

Definition of charcoal (Entry 2 of 2)

Examples of charcoal in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web: Noun Amenities include picnic tables, sinks, electric outlets and charcoal grills. Shanti Lerner, The Arizona Republic, 23 Mar. 2022 Generators, camp stoves or charcoal grills should always be used outdoors and at least 20 feet away from windows. Emily Deletter, The Enquirer, 2 Feb. 2022 To set up a charcoal grill for indirect grilling, light the coals in a chimney, then rake the hot coals into two piles at opposite sides of the grill with a foil drip pan between them. Steven Raichlen New York Times, Star Tribune, 21 July 2021 Here, meats are dry rubbed with Cecchini’s signature sea salt blend, cooked on a charcoal grill to fully express the flavor profiles and served tableside. Megan Murphy, Robb Report, 25 June 2021 As necessary, at least for us, as a charcoal grill, we have not been disappointed once with this. Perri Ormont Blumberg, Southern Living, 10 June 2021 Both a smoker and a charcoal grill, the possibilities are endless with this Royal Gourmet cooker. Kelsey Mulvey, Forbes, 31 May 2021 When ready to cook, prepare your gas or charcoal grill for direct-heat grilling or preheat a grill pan over medium-high heat. Washington Post, 13 May 2021 The craft formulas are expertly blended to meet the pH level of male skin, including powerhouse natural ingredients like aloe, coconut oil, and charcoal. The Salt Lake Tribune, 7 Apr. 2022 Recent Examples on the Web: Verb In addition to the mineral-rich nodules, which often look similar to charcoal briquettes, deep-sea mining also collects mineral deposits near hydrothermal vents and crusts along seamounts. Tara Duggan, San Francisco Chronicle, 8 Feb. 2022 The parable is told through 40 large-scale illustrations that are entirely in black, white and shades of gray, drawn by Ojih Odutola with pastel, chalk and charcoal on a black background. Washington Post, 14 Dec. 2021 The interior, meanwhile, is done up in the same red and charcoal great. Bryan Hood, Robb Report, 8 Dec. 2021 Chalk, Painted Hills wild red, and charcoal from a recent wildfire are among the materials in her recent work. oregonlive, 20 Nov. 2021 The market is saturated with companies touting the best grills, from gas to pellet, charcoal to kamados, and each provides the user with a unique experience and delicious results. Becca Miller, Good Housekeeping, 7 May 2021 Backyard chefs — who at one time were devoted to charcoal briquettes or propane gas — are now burning for wood pellet grills. Kathy Stephenson, The Salt Lake Tribune, 23 June 2021 The project will explore techniques involving trees, peat, rock chips and charcoal on a 247-acre plot of land. Alex Fox, Smithsonian Magazine, 27 May 2021 The secret to charcoal Indirect cooking is to add briquettes to the fire as needed to maintain the cooking temperature (add about 10 briquettes per side every hour or so—or when the temperature inside the grill gets below 250F). Elizabeth Karmel, Forbes, 10 May 2021 See More

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'charcoal.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

First Known Use of charcoal


14th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1


1965, in the meaning defined above

History and Etymology for charcoal


Middle English charcole

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Time Traveler for charcoal

Time Traveler

The first known use of charcoal was in the 14th century

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Dictionary Entries Near charcoal



charcoal black

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Statistics for charcoal

Last Updated

6 May 2022

Cite this Entry

“Charcoal.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 16 May. 2022.

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More Definitions for charcoal


char·​coal | \ ˈchär-ˌkōl How to pronounce charcoal (audio) \

Kids Definition of charcoal

: a black or dark absorbent fuel made by heating wood in the absence of air


char·​coal | \ ˈchär-ˌkōl How to pronounce charcoal (audio) \

Medical Definition of charcoal

: a dark or black porous carbon prepared from vegetable or animal substances (as from wood by charring in a kiln from which air is excluded) — see activated charcoal


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