1. A black, porous, carbonaceous material, 85 to 98 percent carbon, produced by the destructive distillation of wood and used as a fuel, filter, and adsorbent.
a. A drawing pencil or crayon made from this material.
b. A drawing executed with such a pencil or crayon.
3. A dark grayish brown to black or dark purplish gray.
tr.v. char·coaled, char·coal·ing, char·coals
1. To draw, write, or blacken with a black, carbonaceous material.
2. To charbroil.
The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fifth Edition copyright ©2020 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.
Indo-European & Semitic Roots Appendices
Thousands of entries in the dictionary include etymologies that trace their origins back to reconstructed proto-languages. You can obtain more information about these forms in our online appendices:
The Indo-European appendix covers nearly half of the Indo-European roots that have left their mark on English words. A more complete treatment of Indo-European roots and the English words derived from them is available in our Dictionary of Indo-European Roots.