AskDefine | Define char

Dictionary Definition



1 a charred substance
2 a human female who does housework; "the char will clean the carpet" [syn: charwoman, cleaning woman, cleaning lady, woman]
3 any of several small-scaled trout


1 burn to charcoal; "Without a drenching rain, the forest fire will char everything" [syn: coal]
2 burn slightly and superficially so as to affect color; "The cook blackened the chicken breast"; "The fire charred the ceiling above the mantelpiece"; "the flames scorched the ceiling" [syn: blacken, scorch] [also: charring, charred]

User Contributed Dictionary


Alternative spellings


Etymology 1

cherre (odd job) < ċierr (turn, occasion). Cognate with Sanskrit "char" (to do), "kri" (to do), "kar" (to perform), and Persian (kar, work).


  1. a time; a turn or occasion
  2. a turn of work; a labour or item of business
  3. an odd job, a chore or piece of housework
  4. a charlady, a woman employed to do housework; cleaning lady
    “I had to scrub the kitchen today, because the char couldn’t come”
cleaning lady


  1. to turn, especially away or aside
  2. to work, especially to do housework
    • 1893, She explained that she was the commissionaire's wife, who did the charing, and I gave her the order for the coffee. — Arthur Conan Doyle, ‘The Naval Treaty’ (Norton 2005, p.677)

Etymology 2

Origin unknown, perhaps from Celtic.


  1. One of the several species of fishes of the genus Salvelinus or the brook trout. Scientific name: Salvelinus fontinalis.
    “Among other native delicacies, they give you fresh char.”

Etymology 3

back-form charcoal


  1. To burn something to charcoal.
  2. To burn slightly or superficially so as to affect colour.
to burn something to charcoal
  • Finnish: hiiltää
  • German: ankohlen, verkohlen
  • Greek: καρβουνιάζω
  • Russian: обугливать
to burn slightly


  1. A charred substance
a charred substance



  1. tank
  2. chariot
  3. car (US), auto (UK)



  • lang=ga|[xaɾˠ]


  1. not

Usage notes

Used only in some varieties of Ulster Irish. Used only with the past tense of regular verbs and some irregular verbs. Triggers lenition of the following verb.

Related terms







Latin carus



Extensive Definition

Char is the solid material that remains after light gases (e.g. coal gas) and tar (e.g. coal tar) have been driven-out or released from a carbonaceous material, during the initial stage of combustion, which is known as carbonization, charring, devolatilization or pyrolysis. Further stages of efficient combustion (with or without char deposits) are known as gasification reactions, ending quickly when the reversible gas phase water gas shift reaction reaches equilibrium.
Char may refer to:
In people:
In tanks:
  • Any French tank (from char d'assaut), but more specifically one with a short designation such as:
    • Char B1, a French heavy tank manufactured before the Second World War
    • Char 2C, a super-heavy French tank developed during the First World War
    • Char D1, a pre-World War II French tank
    • Char D2, a French tank of the Interbellum
    • Char G1, a French replacement project for the Char D2 medium tank
char in German: Char
char in French: Char
char in Dutch: Char

Synonyms, Antonyms and Related Words

blaze, blister, brand, burn, burn in, burn off, cast, cauterize, chare, charwoman, chore, cleaner, cleaner-off, cleaner-up, cleaning lady, cleaning man, cleaning woman, coal, crack, cupel, custodian, do chars, do the chores, flame, found, janitor, janitress, labor, oxidate, oxidize, parch, pyrolyze, scorch, sear, singe, solder, swinge, torrefy, turn a hand, vesicate, vulcanize, weld, work
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