"non-bituminous coal," 1812, earlier (c.1600) a type of ruby-like gem described by Pliny, from Latin anthracites "bloodstone, semi-precious gem," from Greek anthrakites "coal-like," from anthrax (genitive anthrakos) "live coal" (see anthrax). Related: Anthractic (adj.).
A hard, shiny coal that has a high carbon content. It is valued as a fuel because it burns with a clean flame and without smoke or odor, but it is much less abundant than bituminous coal. Compare bituminous coal, lignite.