AskDefine | Define chalk

Dictionary Definition



1 a soft whitish calcite
2 a pure flat white with little reflectance
3 amphetamine used in the form of a crystalline hydrochloride; used as a stimulant to the nervous system and as an appetite suppressant [syn: methamphetamine, methamphetamine hydrochloride, Methedrine, meth, deoxyephedrine, chicken feed, crank, glass, ice, shabu, trash]
4 a piece of chalk (or similar substance) used for writing on blackboards or other surfaces v : write, draw, or trace with chalk

User Contributed Dictionary


Alternative spellings


Old English cealc, borrowed from calx, limestone, borrowed from χάλιξ, pebble.



chalk (uncountable and countable; plural chalks)
  1. A soft, white, powdery limestone.
  2. A piece of chalk, or, more often, processed compressed chalk, that is used for drawing and for writing on a blackboard.
  3. Tailor's chalk.
  4. (climbing) A white powdery substance used to prevent hands slipping from holds when climbing.
  5. ,, A platoon-sized group of airborne soldiers


a soft, white, powdery limestone
a piece of chalk used for drawing and on a blackboard
tailor's chalk
See tailor's chalk
… prevent from falling when climbing


  1. To apply chalk to anything, such as the tip of a billiards cue
  2. To record something, as on a blackboard, using chalk.
  3. To use powdered chalk to mark the lines on a playing field.
  4. To record a score or event, as if on a chalkboard.

Related terms

Extensive Definition

Chalk () is a soft, white, porous sedimentary rock, a form of limestone composed of the mineral calcite. It forms under relatively deep marine conditions from the gradual accumulation of minute calcite plates (coccoliths) shed from micro-organisms called coccolithophores. It is common to find flint and chert nodules embedded in chalk.
Chalk is relatively resistant to erosion and slumping compared to the clays with which it is usually associated, thus forming tall steep cliffs where chalk ridges meet the sea. Chalk hills, known as chalk downland, usually form where bands of chalk reach the surface at an angle, so forming a scarp slope. Because chalk is porous it can hold a large volume of ground water, providing a natural reservoir that releases water slowly through dry seasons.
Chalk has been quarried since prehistory, providing building material and marl for fields. In southeast England, deneholes are a notable example of ancient chalk pits.
The Chalk Formation is a European stratigraphic unit deposited during the late Cretaceous Period. It forms the famous White Cliffs of Dover in Kent, England. The Champagne region of France is mostly underlain by chalk deposits, which contain famous caves beneath the hills.

Chalk uses

The traditional uses of chalk have in many cases been replaced by other substances, although the word "chalk" is often still applied to the replacements.
  • Blackboard chalk is a substance used for drawing on rough surfaces, as it readily crumbles leaving particles that stick loosely to these surfaces. Although traditionally composed of natural chalk, modern blackboard chalk is generally made from the mineral gypsum (calcium sulfate), often supplied in sticks of compressed powder about 10 cm long.
  • In lawn tennis, powdered chalk was used to mark the boundary lines of the court. This gives the advantage that, if the ball hits the line, a cloud of chalk or pigment dust can be seen. Nowadays the substance used is mostly titanium dioxide.
  • Tailor's chalk is traditionally a hard chalk used to make temporary markings on cloth, mainly by tailors. Nowadays it is usually made from talc (magnesium silicate).
  • Sidewalk chalk is made of sticks of colored (and sometimes white) chalk (now mostly gypsum) used to draw on sidewalks, streets, and driveways. It is often done by children, but in many cities, talented adult artists create masterpieces on the walkways.
  • Toothpaste also commonly contains small amounts of chalk.
chalk in Arabic: طبشور
chalk in Danish: Kridt
chalk in German: Kreide (Gestein)
chalk in Estonian: Kriit
chalk in Spanish: Tiza
chalk in Esperanto: Kreto (ŝtono)
chalk in French: Craie
chalk in Hebrew: קירטון
chalk in Italian: Gesso (roccia)
chalk in Kazakh: Бор (тау жынысы)
chalk in Latvian: Krīts
chalk in Lithuanian: Kreida (uoliena)
chalk in Dutch: Krijtgesteente
chalk in Japanese: チョーク (岩石)
chalk in Norwegian: Kritt (mineralogi)
chalk in Polish: Kreda (skała)
chalk in Portuguese: Cré
chalk in Russian: Мел (материал)
chalk in Simple English: Chalk
chalk in Serbian: Креда
chalk in Finnish: Liitukivi
chalk in Swedish: Kalk
chalk in Turkish: Tebeşir
chalk in Ukrainian: Крейда
chalk in Chinese: 白堊岩

Synonyms, Antonyms and Related Words

air brush, alabaster, art paper, ballpoint pen, besnow, blackboard, blanch, blaze, blaze a trail, bleach, blemish, blotch, book, brand, brush, calcimine, calendar, camera lucida, camera obscura, canvas, cartoon, carve, catalog, chalk up, charcoal, check, check in, check off, chronicle, cicatrize, color, copy, crayon, crosshatch, cut, dapple, dash, dash off, daub, define, delimit, delineate, demarcate, depict, design, diagram, discolor, docket, doodle, dot, draft, draw, drawing paper, drawing pencil, drier, driven snow, easel, engrave, enroll, enscroll, enter, eraser, etiolate, file, fill out, fixative, fleck, fleece, flour, foam, freckle, frost, gash, grave, grizzle, ground, hatch, impanel, impress, imprint, incise, index, ink, inkhorn, inkstand, inkwell, inscribe, insert, invisible ink, ivory, jot down, lay figure, lead pencil, lily, limn, line, list, log, maggot, make a mark, make a memorandum, make a note, make an entry, make out, mark, mark down, mark off, mark out, matriculate, maulstick, medium, milk, minute, mottle, nib, nick, notch, note, note down, paint, paint a picture, paintbrush, palette, palette knife, paper, pastel, pearl, pen, pencil, pepper, picture, picturize, pigments, pipe-clay, place upon record, plume, point, poll, portray, post, post up, prick, print, punch, punctuate, puncture, put down, put in writing, put on paper, put on tape, quill, record, reduce to writing, reed, register, riddle, scar, scarify, score, scotch, scratch, scratchboard, scumble, seal, seam, set down, shade, sheet, siccative, silver, sketch, sketchbook, sketchpad, slate, snow, spatula, speck, speckle, splotch, spot, spray gun, stain, stamp, stencil, stigmatize, streak, striate, stripe, stump, style, stylograph, stylus, swan, sympathetic ink, table, tablet, tabulate, take down, tape, tape-record, tattoo, tick, tick off, tint, trace, underline, underscore, varnish, videotape, white, whiten, whitewash, write, write down, write in, write out, write up
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