chalk

Definitions

General English

Aviation

  • noun a soft white limestone rock that may be used in powder form or as a shaped stick for writing with

Construction

  • A soft limestone, white, gray, or buff-colored, composed of the remains of small marine organisms. In construction, chalk is commonly dyed blue and used with a chalk line or snap line for marking lines.

Military

  • noun a soft white limestone rock, often found under a shallow covering of soil and grass
  • noun a writing instrument produced from chalk
  • noun a group of passengers in an aircraft (especially helicopters)

Sports

  • noun a chalky preparation applied to the hands to improve grip, used by weightlifters, gymnasts and others

Wine

  • fine white sedimentary rock formed of calcium carbonate from animal organisms, widely found in many parts of northern Europe. Vines grown in soils high in chalk are highly sought-after.

Origin & History of “chalk”

Latin calx meant broadly ‘lime, limestone’ (it probably came from Greek khálix ‘pebble’). This was borrowed in early times into the Germanic languages, and in most of them it retains this meaning (German kalk, for instance, means ‘limestone’). In English, however, it fairly soon came to be applied to a particular soft white form of limestone, namely chalk (the Old English word was cealc). The Latin word is also the source of English calculate, calcium, and causeway.
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