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chalk (chôk)
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n.
1. A soft compact calcite, CaCO3, with varying amounts of silica, quartz, feldspar, or other mineral impurities, generally gray-white or yellow-white and derived chiefly from fossil seashells.
2.
a. A piece of chalk or chalklike substance in crayon form, used for marking on a blackboard or other surface.
b. Games A small cube of chalk used in rubbing the tip of a billiard or pool cue to increase its friction with the cue ball.
3. A mark made with chalk.
4. Chiefly British A score or tally.
tr.v. chalked, chalk·ing, chalks
1. To mark, draw, or write with chalk: chalked my name on the blackboard.
2. To rub or cover with chalk, as the tip of a billiard cue.
3. To make pale; whiten.
4. To treat (soil, for example) with chalk.
Phrasal Verb:
chalk up
1. To earn or score: chalk up points.
2. To credit or ascribe: Chalk that up to experience.

[Middle English, from Old English cealk, from Latin calx, calc-, lime; see CALX.]

chalki·ness n.
chalky adj.

The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fifth Edition copyright ©2019 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.
 

Indo-European & Semitic Roots Appendices

    Thousands of entries in the dictionary include etymologies that trace their origins back to reconstructed proto-languages. You can obtain more information about these forms in our online appendices:

    Indo-European Roots

    Semitic Roots

    The Indo-European appendix covers nearly half of the Indo-European roots that have left their mark on English words. A more complete treatment of Indo-European roots and the English words derived from them is available in our Dictionary of Indo-European Roots.

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