Share this entry

Share this page

anthracite

Syllabification: an·thra·cite
Pronunciation: /ˈanTHrəˌsīt
 
/

Definition of anthracite in English:

noun

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.

Origin

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

More
  • 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).

Words that rhyme with anthracite

marcasiteparasitehaemocytemicrosite

Definition of anthracite in:

Share this entry

Share this page

 

What do you find interesting about this word or phrase?

Comments that don't adhere to our Community Guidelines may be moderated or removed.

Get more from Oxford Dictionaries

Subscribe to remove ads and access premium resources

Word of the day snarf
Pronunciation: snärf
verb
eat or drink quickly or greedily