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noun (1)

variants or less commonly charr
plural char or chars also charr or charrs
: any of a genus (Salvelinus) of small-scaled trouts with light-colored spots


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verb (1)

charred; charring

transitive verb

: to convert to charcoal or carbon usually by heat : burn
: to burn slightly or partly : scorch
the fire charred the beams


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noun (2)

plural chars
: a charred substance : charcoal
specifically : a combustible residue remaining after the destructive distillation of coal
: a darkened crust produced on grilled food
Because gas grills generally produce less heat than charcoal grills, the steak requires a longer cooking time (and less frequent flipping) to develop a nice char.David Pazmiño


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verb (2)

charred; charring

intransitive verb

: to work as a cleaning woman


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noun (3)


Examples of char in a Sentence

Verb (1) I'd like my hamburger charred, but not cooked through Noun (3) a busy executive who leaves most of the cooking and cleaning to the char
Recent Examples on the Web
The Bon Appétit Staff & Contributors charred and served on a plate with fresh goat cheesevanilla ice cream Joe joined the Bon Appétit team in 2022 after climbing the editorial ranks for a few years at Condé Nast’s other food publication, Epicurious. Joe Sevier, Bon Appétit, 10 July 2024 The district issued two alerts during the initial part of a heat wave that charred the region just before the Fourth of July. Rick Hurd, The Mercury News, 9 July 2024 Their process stays true to the past: Wool is woven, charred to singe loose ends, then repeatedly washed and dried for softness. Sam Cochran, Architectural Digest, 9 July 2024 The Lake Fire began around 3:45 pm Saturday and charred more than 300 acres of land in the Los Padres National Forest in its first few hours. Bruce Haring, Deadline, 7 July 2024 See all Example Sentences for char 

These examples are programmatically compiled from various online sources to illustrate current usage of the word 'char.' Any opinions expressed in the examples do not represent those of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback about these examples.

Word History


Noun (1)

origin unknown

Verb (1)


Verb (2)


Noun (3)

by shortening

First Known Use

Noun (1)

1662, in the meaning defined above

Verb (1)

1679, in the meaning defined at transitive sense 1

Noun (2)

1879, in the meaning defined at sense 1

Verb (2)

1732, in the meaning defined above

Noun (3)

1906, in the meaning defined above

Time Traveler
The first known use of char was in 1662

Dictionary Entries Near char

Cite this Entry

“Char.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 17 Jul. 2024.

Kids Definition


1 of 3 noun
plural char or chars
: any of a genus of trouts that have small scales and include the common brook trout


2 of 3 verb
charred; charring
: to change or become changed to charcoal or carbon usually by heat : burn
: to burn or become burned partly or slightly : scorch


3 of 3 noun

More from Merriam-Webster on char

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