Definition of anthracite in English:

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Pronunciation: /ˈanθrəsʌɪt/


[mass noun]
1Coal of a hard variety that contains relatively pure carbon and burns with little flame and smoke.
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.
1.1A dark grey colour: a wide range of colours from anthracite to blush pink [as modifier]: the anthracite finish on these cupboard doors
More example sentences
  • While our review sample was anthracite, the Quality Mat is also available in blue, red and orange.
  • Each display is available in a choice of colours: white, anthracite and blue.
  • The use of block colours in black, anthracite, charcoal gray, indigo, winter white and red-brown complements this understated and practical collection.


Late 16th century (denoting a gem described by Pliny and said to resemble coals, supposedly hydrophane (a type of opal)): 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).

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