1. the carbonaceous material obtained by heating wood or other organic substances in the absence of air.
  2. a drawing pencil of charcoal.
  3. a drawing made with charcoal.

verb (used with object)

  1. to blacken, write, or draw with charcoal.
  2. to cook (food) over charcoal, especially on a grill.

verb (used without object)

  1. to cook food over charcoal, especially on a grill.


  1. a black amorphous form of carbon made by heating wood or other organic matter in the absence of air: used as a fuel, in smelting metal ores, in explosives, and as an absorbentSee activated carbon
  2. a stick or pencil of this for drawing
  3. a drawing done in charcoal
  4. short for charcoal grey


  1. (tr) to write, draw, or blacken with charcoal

mid-14c., charcole, first element is either Old French charbon “charcoal,” or, on the current theory, obsolete charren “to turn” (from Old English cerran) + cole “coal,” thus, “to turn to coal.”


  1. Carbon obtained by heating or burning organic material with restricted access of air.
  2. Activated charcoal.

  1. A black porous form of carbon produced by heating wood or bone in little or no air. Charcoal is used as a fuel, for drawing, and in air and water filters.

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