[ kal-uh-mel, -muh l ]
/ ˈkæl əˌmɛl, -məl /

noun Pharmacology.

a white, tasteless powder, Hg2Cl2, used chiefly as a purgative and fungicide.

Origin of calomel

1670–80; < New Latin calomelas coined from Greek kaló(s) fair + mélas black; allegedly so called because its original preparation involved turning black powder into white
Also called mercurous chloride. Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2020

Example sentences from the Web for calomel

British Dictionary definitions for calomel

/ (ˈkæləˌmɛl, -məl) /


a colourless tasteless powder consisting chiefly of mercurous chloride, used medicinally, esp as a cathartic. Formula: Hg 2 Cl 2

Word Origin for calomel

C17: perhaps from New Latin calomelas (unattested), literally: beautiful black (perhaps so named because it was originally sublimed from a black mixture of mercury and mercuric chloride), from Greek kalos beautiful + melas black
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

Medical definitions for calomel

[ kălə-mĕl′, -məl ]


A colorless, white or brown tasteless compound used as a purgative and an insecticide.mercurous chloride
The American Heritage® Stedman's Medical Dictionary Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company.