chalk

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English[edit]

Colorful chalk used for writing or drawing

Alternative forms[edit]

Etymology[edit]

From Old English cealc, borrowed from Latin calx (limestone), borrowed from Ancient Greek χάλιξ (khaliks, pebble)

Pronunciation[edit]

Noun[edit]

chalk (countable and uncountable, plural chalks)

  1. (uncountable) A soft, white, powdery limestone.
  2. (countable) 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. (uncountable, climbing) A white powdery substance used to prevent hands slipping from holds when climbing, sometimes but not always limestone-chalk.
  5. (US, military, countable) A platoon-sized group of airborne soldiers.
  6. (US, sports, chiefly basketball) The prediction that there will be no upsets, and the favored competitor will win.
    • 1982 March 22, Phil Musick, “And the pick here is - Georgetown over Houston”, page 13:
      OK, let's get rid of the chalk players right away. The chalk likes North Carolina. Dean Smith has taken Carolina to the Final Four six times.
    • 1995 April 6, “Notes on a Scorecard”, page C3:
      Excuse us for sticking with the chalk, but the predicted winners are Afternoon Deelites in the Derby, Oliver McCall over Larry Holmes, Nick Faldo in the Masters, and Al Unser Jr. in the Grand Prix.
    • 2008 March 24, Jason Bauman, “Non-news of the week: Obama picks North Carolina”, Aurora, Illinois:
      Instead, he played the chalk and selected the No. 1 overall seed in the tournament.

Translations[edit]

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Verb[edit]

chalk (third-person singular simple present chalks, present participle chalking, simple past and past participle chalked)

  1. To apply chalk to anything, such as the tip of a billiard 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. (figuratively) To record a score or event, as if on a chalkboard.
  5. To manure (land) with chalk.
    (Can we find and add a quotation of Mortimer to this entry?)
  6. To make white, as if with chalk; to make pale; to bleach.
    (Can we find and add a quotation of Tennyson to this entry?)
    • Herbert
      Let a bleak paleness chalk the door.

Derived terms[edit]

Related terms[edit]

See also[edit]