General English


  • noun a metallic chemical element naturally present in limestone and chalk. It is essential for biological processes.


  • A silvery-white metal whose atomic number is 20. It has about 20 known isotopes, of which 6 are stable. It is the most abundant metallic element in the human body, and the fifth most abundant element in the earth's crust. It is used to prepare various alloys, and as a getter in vacuum tubes. Its chemical symbol is Ca.
  • chemical symbolCa


  • An essential element for health used in the formation of bones and for the transmission of nerve impulses as well as in other metabolic processes. Requires vitamin D for absorption. Available from milk products, pulses and cereals as well as from inorganic sources such as hard water, chalk and lime.


  • noun a metallic chemical element which is a major component of bones and teeth and which is essential for various bodily processes such as blood clotting

Origin & History of “calcium”

Calcium was coined by the English chemist Sir Humphry Davy in 1808 on the basis of Latin calx ‘limestone’ (which is also the ancestor of English calcareous, calculate, calculus, causeway, and chalk). The Latin word probably came from Greek khálix, which meant ‘pebble’ as well as ‘limestone’.