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[talk] /tælk/
Also, talcum
[tal-kuh m] /ˈtæl kəm/ (Show IPA)
. a green-to-gray, soft mineral, hydrous magnesium silicate, Mg 3 (Si 4 O 10)(OH) 2 , unctuous to the touch, and occurring usually in foliated or compact masses, used in making lubricants, talcum powder, electrical insulation, etc.
verb (used with object), talcked or talced
[talkt] /tælkt/ (Show IPA),
talcking or talcing
[tal-king] /ˈtæl kɪŋ/ (Show IPA)
to treat or rub with talc.
Origin of talc
1595-1605; < Medieval Latin talcum < Arabic ṭalq mica < Persian talk Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018.
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British Dictionary definitions for talcum


a white, grey, brown, or pale green mineral, found in metamorphic rocks. It is used in the manufacture of talcum powder and electrical insulators. Composition: hydrated magnesium silicate. Formula: Mg3Si4O10(OH)2. Crystal structure: monoclinic
verb talcs, talcking, talcked, talcs, talcing, talced
(transitive) to apply talc to
Derived Forms
talcose, talcous, adjective
Word Origin
C16: from Medieval Latin talcum, from Arabic talq mica, from Persian talk
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 talcum

1550s, from Medieval Latin talcum, used for any of various shiny minerals. See talc.



1580s, from Middle French talc, probably from Spanish talco and Medieval Latin talcum "talc" (ealy 14c.), both from Arabic talq, from Persian talk "talc." "It was applied by the Arab and medieval writers to various transparent, translucent and shining minerals such as talc proper, mica, selenite, etc." [Flood].

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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talcum in Medicine

talcum tal·cum (tāl'kəm)
See talc.

talc (tālk)
A fine-grained white, greenish, or gray mineral, having a soft soapy feel and used in talcum and face powder. Also called talcum.

The American Heritage® Stedman's Medical Dictionary
Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company.
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talcum in Science
A very soft white, greenish, or gray monoclinic mineral usually occurring as massive micalike flakes in igneous or metamorphic rocks. It has a soapy texture and is used in face powder and talcum powder, for coating paper, and as a filler in paints and plastics. Chemical formula: Mg3Si4O10(OH)2.
The American Heritage® Science Dictionary
Copyright © 2002. Published by Houghton Mifflin. All rights reserved.
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