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[kawk] /kɔk/
verb (used with object)
to fill or close seams or crevices of (a tank, window, etc.) in order to make watertight, airtight, etc.
to make (a vessel) watertight by filling the seams between the planks with oakum or other material driven snug.
to fill or close (a seam, joint, etc.), as in a boat.
to drive the edges of (plating) together to prevent leakage.
Also, caulking
[kaw-king] /ˈkɔ kɪŋ/ (Show IPA)
. a material or substance used for caulking.
Origin of caulk
1350-1400; < Latin calcāre to trample, tread on (verbal derivative of calx heel), conflated with Middle English cauken < Old French cauquer to trample < Latin, as above
Can be confused
calk, caulk. Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2015.
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Examples from the web for caulk
  • The other way to get old windows weather tight is to caulk them permanently shut on both the inside and the outside.
  • Silva cautions homeowners to use latex rather than silicone-based caulk, which cannot be painted.
  • Typically, the adhesive comes in tubes similar to caulk tubes.
  • The purpose of the compound, often called caulking or caulk, is to seal gaps and cracks that develop between materials.
  • Allow caulk to dry thoroughly before painting over it, otherwise the paint may crack as the caulking shrinks.
  • The station can be secured to walls or ceilings with screws, caulk or double-sided tape, depending upon the surface.
  • Apply a bead of silicon caulk around the base and also around the edge of the sink where it contacts the wall.
  • The vinyl siding above the roof simply touches the shingles, and there is some caulk that has pulled apart.
  • caulk from different time periods or that have a different appearance should not be composited together.
  • caulk and glazing that remains pliant or that has hardened but can not be crumbled by hand pressure is considered non-friable.
British Dictionary definitions for caulk


to stop up (cracks, crevices, etc) with a filler
(nautical) to pack (the seams) between the planks of the bottom of (a vessel) with waterproof material to prevent leakage
Derived Forms
caulker, calker, noun
Word Origin
C15: from Old Northern French cauquer to press down, from Latin calcāre to trample, from calx heel
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 caulk

late 14c., "to stop up crevices or cracks," from Old North French cauquer, from Late Latin calicare "to stop up chinks with lime," from Latin calx (2) "lime, limestone" (see chalk). Original sense is nautical, of making ships watertight. Related: Caulked; caulking. As a noun, "caulking material," by 1980 (caulking in this sense was used from 1743). Related: Caulker.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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