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Coal, n. Etym: [AS. col; akin to D. kool, OHG. chol, cholo, G. kohle, Icel. kol, pl., Sw. kol, Dan. kul; cf. Skr. jval to burn. Cf. Kiln, Collier.]

1. A thoroughly charred, and extinguished or still ignited, fragment from wood or other combustible substance; charcoal.

2. (Min.)

Defn: A black, or brownish black, solid, combustible substance, dug from beds or veins in the earth to be used for fuel, and consisting, like charcoal, mainly of carbon, but more compact, and often affording, when heated, a large amount of volatile matter.

Note: This word is often used adjectively, or as the first part of self-explaining compounds; as, coal-black; coal formation; coal scuttle; coal ship. etc.

Note: In England the plural coals is used, for the broken mineral coal burned in grates, etc.; as, to put coals on the fire. In the United States the singular in a collective sense is the customary usage; as, a hod of coal. Age of coal plants. See Age of Acrogens, under Acrogen.

-- Anthracite or Glance coal. See Anthracite.
-- Bituminous coal. See under Bituminous.
-- Blind coal. See under Blind.
-- Brown coal, or Lignite. See Lignite.
-- Caking coal, a bituminous coal, which softens and becomes pasty

or semi-viscid when heated. On increasing the heat, the volatile products are driven off, and a coherent, grayish black, cellular mass of coke is left.

-- Cannel coal, a very compact bituminous coal, of fine texture and

dull luster. See Cannel coal.

-- Coal bed (Geol.), a layer or stratum of mineral coal.
-- Coal breaker, a structure including machines and machinery

adapted for crushing, cleansing, and assorting coal.

-- Coal field (Geol.), a region in which deposits of coal occur.

Such regions have often a basinlike structure, and are hence called coal basins. See Basin.

-- Coal gas, a variety of carbureted hydrogen, procured from

bituminous coal, used in lighting streets, houses, etc., and for cooking and heating.

-- Coal heaver, a man employed in carrying coal, and esp. in putting

it in, and discharging it from, ships.

-- Coal measures. (Geol.) (a) Strata of coal with the attendant

rocks. (b) A subdivision of the carboniferous formation, between the millstone grit below and the Permian formation above, and including nearly all the workable coal beds of the world.

-- Coal oil, a general name for mineral oils; petroleum.
-- Coal plant (Geol.), one of the remains or impressions of plants

found in the strata of the coal formation.

-- Coal tar. See in the Vocabulary.
-- To haul over the coals, to call to account; to scold or censure.

[Colloq.] -- Wood coal. See Lignite.

coal Coal, v. t. [imp. & p. p. Coaled; p. pr. & vb. n. Coaling.]

1. To burn to charcoal; to char. [R.] Charcoal of roots, coaled into great pieces. Bacon.

2. To mark or delineate with charcoal. Camden.

3. To supply with coal; as, to coal a steamer.

coal Coal, v. i.

Defn: To take in coal; as, the steaer coaled at Southampton.

---excerpt from the Illustrated Bible Dictionary

Coal - It is by no means certain that the Hebrews were acquainted with mineral coal, although it is found in Syria. Their common fuel was dried dung of animals and wood charcoal. Two different words are found in Hebrew to denote coal, both occurring in Proverbs 26:21, "As coal [Heb. peham ; i.e., "black coal"] is to burning coal (Heb. gehalim ]." The latter of these words is used in Job 41:21; Proverbs 6:28; Isaiah 44:19. The words "live coal" in Isaiah 6:6 are more correctly "glowing stone." In Lamentations 4:8 the expression "blacker than a coal" is literally rendered in the margin of the Revised Version "darker than blackness." "Coals of fire" (2 Samuel 22:9, 2 Samuel 22:13; Psalms 18:8, Psalms 18:12, Psalms 18:13, etc.) is an expression used metaphorically for lightnings proceeding from God. A false tongue is compared to "coals of juniper" (Psalms 120:4; James 3:6). "Heaping coals of fire on the head" symbolizes overcoming evil with good. The words of Paul (Romans 12:20) are equivalent to saying, "By charity and kindness thou shalt soften down his enmity as surely as heaping coals on the fire fuses the metal in the crucible."

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