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or calk

[kawk] /kɔk/
verb (used with object)
to fill or close seams or crevices of (a tank, window, etc.) in order to make watertight, airtight, etc.
to make (a vessel) watertight by filling the seams between the planks with oakum or other material driven snug.
to fill or close (a seam, joint, etc.), as in a boat.
to drive the edges of (plating) together to prevent leakage.
Also, caulking
[kaw-king] /ˈkɔ kɪŋ/ (Show IPA)
. a material or substance used for caulking.
Origin of caulk
1350-1400; < Latin calcāre to trample, tread on (verbal derivative of calx heel), conflated with Middle English cauken < Old French cauquer to trample < Latin, as above
Can be confused
calk, caulk. Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018.
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Examples from the Web for caulk
Historical Examples
  • I've forgotten to caulk that seam over your bunk, and it's going to rain.

    The Riddle of the Sands Erskine Childers
  • This satisfied them that they must caulk the boat before they could venture out to sea in her.

    The Three Admirals W.H.G. Kingston
  • Billy, who was always ready for a caulk, lay down in the stern sheets.

    The Three Admirals W.H.G. Kingston
  • "Haines was to send a man to caulk a seam in the Nancy," he muttered.

    Prisoners of Hope Mary Johnston
  • The beginner should start at the trap and caulk the joints with the trap held in place.

    Elements of Plumbing Samuel Dibble
  • In answer to this interrogatory, it occurred to me that I might caulk the hole with a rag from my jacket.

    The Boy Tar Mayne Reid
  • He said the old bloke was having his afternoon caulk, and that they daren't wake him.

    Pincher Martin, O.D. H. Taprell Dorling
  • If there are cracks, caulk them, and fill the tub with water.

    The Young Housekeeper's Friend

    Mrs. (Mary Hooker) Cornelius
  • It's a fine tub, and we are mighty lucky to find that man to caulk it.

    Vanished Arizona Martha Summerhayes
  • However, as there was nothing to be done, he went down for a caulk.

    The Tiger of Mysore

    G. A. Henty
British Dictionary definitions for caulk


to stop up (cracks, crevices, etc) with a filler
(nautical) to pack (the seams) between the planks of the bottom of (a vessel) with waterproof material to prevent leakage
Derived Forms
caulker, calker, noun
Word Origin
C15: from Old Northern French cauquer to press down, from Latin calcāre to trample, from calx heel
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 caulk

late 14c., "to stop up crevices or cracks," from Old North French cauquer, from Late Latin calicare "to stop up chinks with lime," from Latin calx (2) "lime, limestone" (see chalk). Original sense is nautical, of making ships watertight. Related: Caulked; caulking. As a noun, "caulking material," by 1980 (caulking in this sense was used from 1743). Related: Caulker.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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