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[kal-kair-ee-uh s] /kælˈkɛər i əs/
of, containing, or like calcium carbonate; chalky:
calcareous earth.
Origin of calcareous
1670-80; variant of calcarious < Latin calcārius of lime; see calx, -arious
Related forms
calcareously, adverb
calcareousness, noun
noncalcareous, adjective
subcalcareous, adjective
uncalcareous, adjective Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2015.
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Examples from the web for calcareous
  • If calcareous algae and copepods are decreasing in number and virility then this affects the entire food chain.
  • Anchored to the bottom inside calcareous tubes, they collected food particles with feathery arms that waved in the ocean currents.
  • Forams are an integral part of paleoclimatological research because their calcareous shells can be dated.
  • The beach was beautiful, with an enormous piece of calcareous mountain at the point.
  • The light sediment consisted mostly of calcareous foram shells, deposited in a period of relatively equable climate.
  • calcareous nannofossils are fossil remains of golden-brown, single-celled algae that live in the oceans.
British Dictionary definitions for calcareous


of, containing, or resembling calcium carbonate; chalky
Word Origin
C17: from Latin calcārius, from calx lime
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition
© William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012
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Word Origin and History for calcareous

also calcarious, 1670s, from Latin calcarius "of lime," from calx (genitive calcis) "lime, limestone" (see chalk (n.)).

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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calcareous in Medicine

calcareous cal·car·e·ous (kāl-kâr'ē-əs)
Composed of, containing, or characteristic of calcium carbonate, calcium, or limestone; chalky.

The American Heritage® Stedman's Medical Dictionary
Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company.
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calcareous in Science
Composed of or containing calcium or calcium carbonate. Calcareous rocks contain as much as 50 percent calcium carbonate.
The American Heritage® Science Dictionary
Copyright © 2002. Published by Houghton Mifflin. All rights reserved.
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