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The Collaborative International Dictionary

Calcareous \Cal*ca"re*ous\, a. [L. calcarius pertaining to lime. See Calx.] Partaking of the nature of calcite or calcium carbonate; consisting of, or containing, calcium carbonate or carbonate of lime.

Calcareous spar. See as Calcite.

Douglas Harper's Etymology Dictionary

also calcarious, 1670s, from Latin calcarius "of lime," from calx (genitive calcis) "lime, limestone" (see chalk (n.)).


a. Resembling or containing calcium carbonate or limestone; chalky.


adj. composed of or containing or resembling calcium carbonate or calcite or chalk [syn: chalky]


Calcareous is an adjective meaning "mostly or partly composed of calcium carbonate", in other words, containing lime or being chalky. The term is used in a wide variety of scientific disciplines.

Usage examples of "calcareous".

Thus stimulated, calcareous growth immediately began to form on the gridwork.

Their calcareous deposits become rocks, reefs, and large and small islands.

I could observe closely these curious walls, for perpendicularly they were more than 300 yards deep, and our electric sheets lighted up this calcareous matter brilliantly.

I heard the keel grating against the rough calcareous bottom of the coral reef.

Others shaded with vivid calcareous reflections resembled a perfect town of marble.

It has special adaptation for being grown on calcareous or limy soils.

And even in humid England it is grown more or less freely on dry, calcareous soils.

Yossarian argued in a vain effort to cheer up the glum, barrel-chested Indian, whose well-knit sorrel-red face had degenerated rapidly into a dilapidated, calcareous gray.

Jago, one of the Azores, a horizontal, calcareous stratum occurs, containing shells of recent marine species, covered by a great sheet of basalt eighty feet thick.

He thought of the flat, dark square miles of calcareous ooze outside, under which lay the biggest proved untapped petroleum reserve in the world.

As the steel claws of the arm drew near, the fans seemed to freeze, and a split second before they would have been touched, they vanished, withdrew as if by magic into the shelter of their calcareous tubes.

Fine calcareous dust, loss, was picked up from the crushed rock at the edges of the glaciers and deposited for hundreds of miles.

A similar instrument found by Gosselin had remained in the vagina thirty-six years, and was incrustated with calcareous salts.

In the Oolite System, mostly consisting of calcareous beds, mammals make their appearance.

The cavern floor was scummed with mud and beslimed with the calcareous drippings of the mineral growths above.