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[jip-suh m] /ˈdʒɪp səm/
a very common mineral, hydrated calcium sulfate, CaSO 4 ⋅2H 2 O, occurring in crystals and in masses, soft enough to be scratched by the fingernail: used to make plaster of Paris, as an ornamental material, as a fertilizer, etc.
Origin of gypsum
1640-50; < Latin: chalk < Greek gýpsos chalk, gypsum Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018.
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Examples from the Web for gypsum
Contemporary Examples
Historical Examples
  • Green and red marl, shale, and shaly limestone with some veins of gypsum.

    Old Mackinaw W. P. Strickland.
  • Beds of gypsum have been discovered on the head waters of the Pere Marquette.

    Old Mackinaw W. P. Strickland.
  • To every hundred pounds of this powder, about three pounds of gypsum is added.

    Diggers in the Earth Eva March Tappan
  • The United States is the largest producer of gypsum in the world.

  • Production of gypsum in the United States comes from eighteen states.

  • In some of these domes are also found petroleum, gypsum, and sulphur (p. 110).

  • They remembered the gypsum hills over which they had ridden on the preceding day.

    The Boy Hunters Captain Mayne Reid
  • "There is an extensive underlying layer of gypsum, here," he said.

    The Planet Strappers Raymond Zinke Gallun
British Dictionary definitions for gypsum


a colourless or white mineral sometimes tinted by impurities, found in beds as an evaporite. It is used in the manufacture of plaster of Paris, cement, paint, school chalk, glass, and fertilizer. Composition: hydrated calcium sulphate. Formula: CaSO4.2H2O. Crystal structure: monoclinic
Derived Forms
gypseous (ˈdʒɪpsɪəs) adjective
gypsiferous (dʒɪpˈsɪfərəs) adjective
Word Origin
C17: from Latin, from Greek gupsos chalk, plaster, cement, of Semitic origin
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 gypsum

substance (hydrated calcium sulphate) used in making plaster, late 14c., from Latin gypsum, from Greek gypsos "chalk," according to Klein, perhaps of Semitic origin (cf. Arabic jibs, Hebrew gephes "plaster").

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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gypsum in Science
A colorless, white, or pinkish mineral. Gypsum occurs as individual blade-shaped crystals or as massive beds in sedimentary rocks, especially those formed through the evaporation of saline-rich water. It is used in manufacturing plasterboard, cement, and fertilizers. Chemical formula: CaSO4·2H2O.
The American Heritage® Science Dictionary
Copyright © 2002. Published by Houghton Mifflin. All rights reserved.
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