One of the mysteries of the English language finally explained.
A powdery metallic oxide formed when an ore or mineral has been heated.
- ‘Then a French pharmacist named Pierre Bayen pointed out to Lavoisier that calx of mercury, which we would now call mercuric oxide, can be converted to mercury simply by heating.’
- ‘The calx combines with a flux containing phlogiston-rich materials.’
- ‘Boyle knew the tin gained weight as the calx was formed.’
- ‘Other common names by which the compound is known include burnt lime, unslaked lime, fluxing lime, and calx.’
- ‘The reason a metal formed when its calx was heated with charcoal was therefore because the phlogiston left the charcoal and united with the calx.’
Late Middle English: from Latin, ‘lime’, probably from Greek khalix ‘pebble, limestone’.
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