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calc

[ kalk ]
/ kælk /
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noun Informal.
a calculator, especially a small portable one.
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Origin of calc

By shortening

Other definitions for calc (2 of 3)

calc-

a combining form of calcareous: calc-tufa.
variant of calci- before a vowel: calcic.

Origin of calc-

<German Kalk lime <Latin calc- (stem of calx) lime, limestone; see calx, chalk

Other definitions for calc (3 of 3)

calc.

abbreviation
calculate.
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2022

WORDS THAT USE CALC-

What does calc- mean?

The combining form calc- is used like a prefix that has two distinct but related senses.

The first of these senses is “calcareous,” a scientific term meaning “chalky” or “containing calcium carbonate.” Calcium carbonate is a chemical compound found in many forms, particularly as lime and chalk. This form of calc- is occasionally used in a variety of scientific and technical terms, particularly in mineralogy and geology. The form calc- ultimately comes from Latin calx, meaning “lime” or “limestone.”

The second of these senses is “calcium,” particularly referring to “calcium salt” or “calcite.” Though this form calc- also ultimately comes from Latin calx, it is rarely used in scientific terms.

Another meaning of the Latin calx is “heel,” the part of the foot, and some terms from biology, such as calcar, derive from this Latin word. Find out more at our entry for calx.

What are variants of calc- with the sense “calcium”?

The form calc- is a variant of calci-, which loses its –i– when combined with words or word elements beginning with vowels. Want to know more? Read our Words That Use article for calci-.

Examples of calc- with the sense “calcareous”

An example of a scientific term that features the form calc- to mean “calcareous” is calcite, also known as calc-spar, “one of the commonest minerals, calcium carbonate, CaCO3, found in a great variety of crystalline forms, and a major constituent of limestone, marble, and chalk.”

The calc- part of the word means “calcareous,” while -ite is a suffix used to name minerals, from Greek -itēs. Calcite literally translates to “calcareous mineral.”

What are some words that use the combining form calc-?

  • calcar (def. 2; using the equivalent form of calc- in Latin)
  • calcine (using the equivalent form of calc- in Latin)
  • calc-sinter (using the equivalent form of calc- in German)
  • calc-tuff

What are some other forms that calc– may be commonly confused with?

Break it down!

A calcar is a kind of kiln once used in glassmaking. Keeping in mind the meaning of calc-, what was this kiln used to heat?

Examples of calc- with the sense “calcium”

One of the few words that features the combining form calc- to mean “calcium” is calcic, “pertaining to or containing lime or calcium.”

The form calc- here means “calcium.” The suffix -ic has a variety of meanings, including “having some characteristics of,” from Latin -icus. Calcic literally translates to “having some characteristics of calcium.”

What are some words that use the combining form calc-?

What are some other forms that calc– may be commonly confused with?

Break it down!

The suffix -ium is used to name metallic elements. With this in mind, what does calcium literally mean?

How to use calc in a sentence

British Dictionary definitions for calc

calc-

combining form
a variant of calci-
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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