verb (chars, charring, charred)[with object]
- 1Partially burn so as to blacken the surface: a region charred by bush fires (as adjective charred) charred remainsMore example sentences
- The body was badly charred as an intense fire had burned close to where it was found.
- The next day revealed the carnage: dead bodies, charred remains of shops and vehicles, and further clashes between police and pupils, joined by street gangs.
- It was just a sort of blackened, charred wreckage, smoke rising and emergency services all over the place.
- 1.1 [no object] (Of an object) become blackened as a result of partial burning: the exposed surfaces of the beams may char in a fireMore example sentences
- The painted wood was charring, burning, sinking slowly in and the last Stars and Stripes flying in the sun was gradually fading in the heat.
- The edges burned first, immediately charring at the edges and then working its way inward.
- The fires from the orphanage did burn true even though the wood had charred and foundations crumbled.
noun[mass noun] Back to top
- Material that has been charred: she trimmed the char from the wicks of the oil lampsMore example sentences
- The rest of the material forms char, which is nearly pure carbon, and ash, which is all of the unburnable minerals in the wood (calcium, potassium, and so on).
- This is being done to preserve chip quality as the spikes drive particles of soot and char into the wood beyond the bark, which contaminates the wood going to chipping.
- The first mouthful of the crust of the ribs gives a smell of char, and then the tastebuds are stimulated by the peppery inside and by the sweet honey basted on the ribs, which helps remove some of the hotness.
late 17th century: apparently a back-formation from charcoal.
British • informal
- A charwoman.More example sentences
- Agnes, our char who comes in once a week and transforms our household chaos into sparkling order, is also a whiz at the sewing machine.
- Agnes, I should explain, is our char who comes twice weekly to make the house sparkle.
- The film's central character Vera Drake played by Imelda Staunton, who was nominated for a rash of best actress awards, is a char whose concern for her family and neighbours is the driving force of her life.
verb (chars, charring, charred)[no object] Back to top
- Work as a charwoman: she’d had to char and work in a grocery store to put herself through universityMore example sentences
- She charred for a princess and then became a hippie.
- She charred for Jewish families (picking up some Yiddish as she did) and the day of her death she had earned 6d cleaning at her lodging house.
- Her mother had gone out charring for a few hours a day for long periods.
(also cha /tʃɑː/ or chai /tʃʌɪ/)
noun[mass noun] British • informal
- Tea.More example sentences
- Afterwards, we sipped chai in one of the tea stalls which had sprung up in the outer cloisters of the temple.
- Now I have seen many things in my short life and even spent a couple of nights in the Amazon Jungle trying to cook a kebab with a lighter but the sales are another cup of chai altogether.
- This sustained us, along with the countless cups of sweet chai and herb-infused omelettes delivered by the boys at every station.
late 16th century (as cha; rare before the early 20th century): from Chinese (Mandarin dialect) chá.