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[jip-suh m] /ˈdʒɪp səm/
a very common mineral, hydrated calcium sulfate, CaSO 4 ⋅2H 2 O, occurring in crystals and in masses, soft enough to be scratched by the fingernail: used to make plaster of Paris, as an ornamental material, as a fertilizer, etc.
Origin of gypsum
1640-50; < Latin: chalk < Greek gýpsos chalk, gypsum Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2015.
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Examples from the web for gypsum
  • But standing in the middle of the largest gypsum field in the world, you may feel as if you are on another planet.
  • There are examples of the use of gypsum plaster vessels at this time, however.
  • The surface of the plain is covered with fine dark pebbles that overlie a white gypsum base.
  • Researchers have found a bright vein of gypsum, a mineral that could only have been deposited by water.
  • The halls and walkways throughout this inactive gypsum mine show evidence of the previous tenant's trade.
  • After all, the chance to be a columnist is nearly as miraculous as finding a kitten in a gypsum factory.
  • The robots are made of gypsum powder and a binding agent, and have a high-impact plastic feel.
  • The power plant's sulfur-dioxide scrubber produces gypsum as a by-product, which is used by a nearby wallboard manufacturer.
  • They're dusting animal paths with gypsum powder so they can quantify the footprints of anything that walks by.
  • Sinkholes can occur when underground rocks that can be dissolved by water-such as salt, gypsum, and limestone-are inundated.
British Dictionary definitions for gypsum


a colourless or white mineral sometimes tinted by impurities, found in beds as an evaporite. It is used in the manufacture of plaster of Paris, cement, paint, school chalk, glass, and fertilizer. Composition: hydrated calcium sulphate. Formula: CaSO4.2H2O. Crystal structure: monoclinic
Derived Forms
gypseous (ˈdʒɪpsɪəs) adjective
gypsiferous (dʒɪpˈsɪfərəs) adjective
Word Origin
C17: from Latin, from Greek gupsos chalk, plaster, cement, of Semitic origin
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition
© William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
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Word Origin and History for gypsum

substance (hydrated calcium sulphate) used in making plaster, late 14c., from Latin gypsum, from Greek gypsos "chalk," according to Klein, perhaps of Semitic origin (cf. Arabic jibs, Hebrew gephes "plaster").

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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gypsum in Science
A colorless, white, or pinkish mineral. Gypsum occurs as individual blade-shaped crystals or as massive beds in sedimentary rocks, especially those formed through the evaporation of saline-rich water. It is used in manufacturing plasterboard, cement, and fertilizers. Chemical formula: CaSO4·2H2O.
The American Heritage® Science Dictionary
Copyright © 2002. Published by Houghton Mifflin. All rights reserved.
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