AskDefine | Define calx

Dictionary Definition

calx n : a white crystalline oxide used in the production of calcium hydroxide [syn: calcium oxide, quicklime, lime, calcined lime, fluxing lime, unslaked lime, burnt lime] [also: calces (pl)]

User Contributed Dictionary



From calx ‘lime’.




  1. The substance which remains after a metal or mineral has been thoroughly burnt, seen as being the essential substance left after the expulsion of phlogiston.
  2. (Now recognised as being) the oxide left after calcination of a metal.
  3. calcium oxide



Etymology 1

Ancient Greek χάλιξ pebble

Derived terms


Third declension; I-stem, base of 2 consonants (3:B2C).

Etymology 2

Possibly from an extension of the Proto-Indo-European root *(s)kel- "to bend", whence also Greek σκέλος leg.


calx, calcis f
  1. heel, part of the foot on the backside where it becomes the leg


Same as for Etymology 1.

Extensive Definition

Calx is a residual substance, sometimes in the form of a fine powder, that is left when a metal or mineral combusts or is calcinated due to heat.
Calx, especially of a metal, is now known as an oxide. According to the obsolete phlogiston theory, the calx was the true elemental substance, having lost its phlogiston in the process of combustion.
"Calx" is also sometimes used in older texts on artist's techniques to mean calcium oxide.


Calx is a Latin word that is also the root for Calcium.

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