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[kal-uh-mahyn, -min] /ˈkæl əˌmaɪn, -mɪn/
a pink, water-insoluble powder consisting of zinc oxide and about 0.5 percent ferric oxide, used in ointments, lotions, or the like, for the treatment of inflammatory conditions of the skin.
Mineralogy. hemimorphite.
Chiefly British. smithsonite.
Origin of calamine
1595-1605; < Medieval Latin calamīna, unexplained alteration of Latin cadmia cadmium; see -ine1 Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2017.
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British Dictionary definitions for calamine


a pink powder consisting of zinc oxide and ferric oxide, (iron(III) oxide), used medicinally in the form of soothing lotions or ointments
(US) another name for smithsonite, hemimorphite
Word Origin
C17: from Old French, from Medieval Latin calamīna, from Latin cadmīa; see cadmium
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition
© William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012
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Word Origin and History for calamine

zinc carbonate; zinc silicate, 1590s, from French calamine, from Old French calemine, chalemine (13c.), from Medieval Latin calamina, corrupted by alchemists from Latin cadmia "zinc ore," from Greek kadmeia (see cadmium). Or possibly the Medieval Latin word is from Latin calamus "reed," in reference to the mineral's shape.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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calamine in Medicine

calamine cal·a·mine (kāl'ə-mīn', -mĭn)
A pink, odorless, tasteless powder of zinc oxide with a small amount of ferric oxide, dissolved in mineral oils and used in skin lotions.

The American Heritage® Stedman's Medical Dictionary
Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company.
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