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From Latin orīchalcum, from Ancient Greek ὀρείχαλκος (oreíkhalkos), from dative singular of ὄρος (óros, mountain) + χαλκός (khalkós, copper).



orichalcum (uncountable)

  1. A valuable yellow metal known to the Ancient Greeks and Romans; now sometimes interpreted as referring to a natural alloy of gold and copper, and sometimes treated as a mythical substance.
    • 2008, Jonathan Black, A Secret History of the World, Quercus 2008, p. 162:
      Many walls were coated with metals – with brass, tin and a red [sic] metal, unknown to us, called orichalcum.



From Ancient Greek ὀρείχαλκος (oreíkhalkos).



orichalcum n (genitive orichalcī); second declension

  1. yellow copper ore, or an alloy of gold and copper
  2. a mythical mineral
  3. (Late Latin, Medieval Latin, poetic) brass (or brass objects)
    • Vulgate Bible, Douay-Rheims Version, Revelation 1ː15
      et pedes eius similes orichalco sicut in camino ardenti et vox illius tamquam vox aquarum multarum


Second declension.

Case Singular Plural
nominative orichalcum orichalca
genitive orichalcī orichalcōrum
dative orichalcō orichalcīs
accusative orichalcum orichalca
ablative orichalcō orichalcīs
vocative orichalcum orichalca



  • orichalcum in Charlton T. Lewis and Charles Short (1879) A Latin Dictionary, Oxford: Clarendon Press
  • orichalcum in Charlton T. Lewis (1891) An Elementary Latin Dictionary, New York: Harper & Brothers
  • orichalcum in Gaffiot, Félix (1934) Dictionnaire Illustré Latin-Français, Hachette
  • orichalcum in Harry Thurston Peck, editor (1898) Harper's Dictionary of Classical Antiquities, New York: Harper & Brothers
  • orichalcum in William Smith et al., editor (1890) A Dictionary of Greek and Roman Antiquities, London: William Wayte. G. E. Marindin