white lead

Definition from Wiktionary, the free dictionary
Jump to navigation Jump to search


Alternative forms[edit]


In the sense of tin, calque of Latin plumbum album (tin, literally white lead) already used before our era, as well as plumbum candidum (tin, literally white-shining lead) and Arabic رَصَاص أَبْيَض(raṣāṣ ʾabyaḍ, tin, literally white lead), distinguished from plumbum nigrum (lead, literally black lead) / رَصَاص أَسْوَد(raṣāṣ ʾaswad, lead, literally black lead), as tin and lead were improperly distinguished before modernity.


English Wikipedia has an article on:

white lead (uncountable)

  1. (obsolete) tin, golden marcasite
    • 1671, Webster, John, Metallographia: Or, an history of metals., London, page 271:
      It is not amiſs here to give the differences betwixt white Lead, or Tin, Biſmuth, Tin-glaſs, or aſh-coloured Lead, and this common Lead, which they call black Lead;
  2. A basic lead carbonate formerly widely used for a white pigment in paint.
    Synonyms: lead white, flake white, silver white, slate white, Berlin white, Cremnitz white/Kremnitz white, Crems white/Krems white, Nottingham white, Vienna white
    • 1938, Norman Lindsay, Age of Consent, Sydney: Ure Smith, published 1962, page 40:
      The beginning of a new episode of work for Bradly was an agitated niggling over six-by-four squares of cardboard coated with size and white lead, prepared by himself to save an experimental waste of canvas.

Derived terms[edit]