Definition of anthracite in English:

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Pronunciation: /ˈanTHrəˌsīt/


Coal of a hard variety that contains relatively pure carbon and burns with little flame and smoke. Also called hard coal.
Example sentences
  • Peat is an accumulation of virtually unaltered plant material, while anthracite is nearly pure carbon with little trace of the original plant material.
  • Coal is usually classified into the sub-groups known as anthracite, bituminous, lignite, and peat.
  • They all burn anthracite there so the sky is orange.



Pronunciation: /ˌanTHrəˈsitik/


Late 16th century (denoting a gem described by Pliny and said to resemble coals, supposedly hydrophane): from Greek anthrakitēs, from anthrax, anthrak- 'coal'.

  • Originally an anthracite was a gem described by Pliny as resembling coals. The word is from Greek anthrakitēs, from anthrax, anthrak- ‘coal’ or ‘carbuncle’ (meaning both a red gem like a glowing coal, and a swelling that looks like one). The same word is the source of the disease anthrax (Late Middle English) which causes black lesions in humans. Carbuncle (Middle English) itself keeps the same image, coming from Latin carbunculus ‘small coal’ from carbo ‘coal, charcoal’, the source of words such as carbon (late 18th century).

For editors and proofreaders

Syllabification: an·thra·cite

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