coal

Coal is a mineral, a black rock that can be extracted from the earth and burned for fuel. Most of the electricity that's produced in the world is powered by the burning of coal.

Coal may seem like an old-fashioned fuel, making you think of steam locomotives that ran on coal, or coal fires heating homes in the nineteenth century. Some people still burn coal in stoves today, although most coal is burned on a much larger scale, generating electricity for entire towns and cities. You can also use the noun coal to mean a glowing ember in your fireplace or backyard grill. In Old English, it was col, from a Germanic root.

Definitions of coal
  1. noun
    fossil fuel consisting of carbonized vegetable matter deposited in the Carboniferous period
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    types:
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    anthracite, anthracite coal, hard coal
    a hard natural coal that burns slowly and gives intense heat
    bituminous coal, soft coal
    rich in tarry hydrocarbons; burns readily with a smoky yellow flame
    brown coal, lignite, wood coal
    intermediate between peat and bituminous coal
    steam coal
    coal suitable for use under steam boilers
    cannel coal
    a bituminous coal that burns with a luminous flame
    sea coal
    pulverized bituminous coal; used as a foundry facing
    jet
    a hard black form of lignite that takes a brilliant polish and is used in jewelry or ornamentation
    type of:
    fossil fuel
    fuel consisting of the remains of organisms preserved in rocks in the earth's crust with high carbon and hydrogen content
    vegetable matter
    matter produced by plants or growing in the manner of a plant
  2. verb
    supply with coal
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    type of:
    furnish, provide, render, supply
    give something useful or necessary to
  3. verb
    take in coal
    “The big ship coaled
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    type of:
    gather in, take in
    fold up
  4. noun
    a hot fragment of wood or coal that is left from a fire and is glowing or smoldering
    synonyms: ember
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    type of:
    fragment
    a piece broken off or cut off of something else
  5. verb
    burn to charcoal
    synonyms: char
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    type of:
    burn, combust
    cause to burn or combust
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