or calk

See more synonyms for caulk on
verb (used with object)
  1. to fill or close seams or crevices of (a tank, window, etc.) in order to make watertight, airtight, etc.
  2. to make (a vessel) watertight by filling the seams between the planks with oakum or other material driven snug.
  3. to fill or close (a seam, joint, etc.), as in a boat.
  4. to drive the edges of (plating) together to prevent leakage.
  1. Also caulk·ing [kaw-king] /ˈkɔ kɪŋ/. 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 confusedcalk caulk Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

Examples from the Web for caulking

Historical Examples of caulking

  • It might be managed, perhaps, and he decided to do the caulking as requested by Roberts.

    The Trail of a Sourdough

    May Kellogg Sullivan

  • When the ship's labouring forces the caulking out of her seams.

    The Sailor's Word-Book

    William Henry Smyth

  • I did a lot of caulking yesterday, but I suppose I missed that place.

    The Riddle of the Sands

    Erskine Childers

  • If a short bend fitting is used, the matter of caulking is difficult.

  • This fitting is threaded on one end and has a socket on the other to allow for caulking.

British Dictionary definitions for caulking



  1. to stop up (cracks, crevices, etc) with a filler
  2. nautical to pack (the seams) between the planks of the bottom of (a vessel) with waterproof material to prevent leakage
Derived Formscaulker or calker, noun

Word Origin for caulk

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

Word Origin and History for caulking



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