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Char"coal` (?), n. [See Char, v. t., to burn or to reduce to coal, and Coal.] 1. Impure carbon prepared from vegetable or animal substances; esp., coal made by charring wood in a kiln, retort, etc., from which air is excluded. It is used for fuel and in various mechanical, artistic, and chemical processes.
2. (Fine Arts) Finely prepared charcoal in small sticks, used as a drawing implement.
Animal charcoal, a fine charcoal prepared by calcining bones in a closed vessel; -- used as a filtering agent in sugar refining, and as an absorbent and disinfectant. -- Charcoal blacks, the black pigment, consisting of burnt ivory, bone, cock, peach stones, and other substances. -- Charcoal drawing (Fine Arts), a drawing made with charcoal. See Charcoal, 2. Until within a few years this material has been used almost exclusively for preliminary outline, etc., but at present many finished drawings are made with it. -- Charcoal point, a carbon pencil prepared for use in an electric light apparatus. -- Mineral charcoal, a term applied to silky fibrous layers of charcoal, interlaminated in beds of ordinary bituminous coal; -- known to miners as mother of coal.