From Tamil சுண்ணம் (cuṇṇam, “lime, ground mortar”), from Sanskrit चूर्ण (cūrṇa, “powder; lime”).
chunam (usually uncountable, plural chunams)
- A type of plaster used in India, made from shell-lime and sand.
- 1888, Rudyard Kipling, ‘On the City Wall’, In Black and White, Folio Society 2005, p. 429:
- The floor of the room was of polished chunam, white as curds.
- 1924, EM Forster, A Passage to India, Penguin 2005, p. 106:
- ‘Look at the flies. Look at the chunam coming off the walls.’
chunam (third-person singular simple present chunams, present participle chunaming, simple past and past participle chunamed)
- (transitive) To plaster or waterproof with chunam.
- The Sydney Morning Herald, Wednesday 8 March 1848
- A PUNT FOR SALE, thirty-four feet long, twelve feet broad, and three feet ten inches deep, chunamed, sheathed, and coppered, carries about fifteen tons.