Definition of calamine in US English:



  • 1A pink powder consisting of zinc carbonate and ferric oxide, used to make a soothing lotion or ointment.

    • ‘Crotamiton or calamine cream or lotions have soothing qualities and may help to relieve itching.’
    • ‘Apply 0.5 percent or 1 percent hydrocortisone cream, calamine lotion or a baking soda paste to the bite or sting several times a day until your symptoms subside.’
    • ‘She pulls me by the arm and leads me to the bathroom, opens the drug cabinet and takes out a small brown bottle labeled calamine lotion.’
    • ‘A cool bath and soothing lotions (e.g. calamine, 1% menthol aqueous cream) may ease the itch.’
    • ‘You may substitute Benadryl lotion or a calamine preparation with menthol, but these are less effective.’
    • ‘Resist scratching, lather with soap and rinse to avoid secondary infection, and apply calamine lotion to relive the itching.’
    • ‘Quinine salts appeared in many preventative types of sun lotion and calamine was often used to take out the sting.’
    • ‘It lasts a week and can be soothed with calamine lotion.’
    • ‘The longer he continues in practice, the fewer the names recalled, and the therapy diminishes to calamine lotion, Lassar's paste, sulphur ointment, and chrysarobin.’
    • ‘Moisturising, after-sun or calamine lotions can ease some of the discomfort.’
    • ‘Sometimes jaundice causes itching which can be treated with preparations such as calamine lotion.’
    • ‘If your skin is itchy, avoid using alcohol, calamine lotion or powder - because all three tend to dry your skin, she says.’
    • ‘Apply a soothing cream such as aftersun cream, calamine lotion or preparations containing aloe.’
    • ‘Treatment of mild to moderate rash includes application of cool compresses or diluted aluminum acetate solution, such as Burow's solution, or calamine lotion.’
    • ‘Neither would most rush off to the Doctor or hospital for insect bites or a minor sniffle they could fix themselves with calamine lotion, or eucalyptus inhalation.’
    • ‘If chilblains develop, don't scratch them; soothing lotions such as witch hazel or calamine will take away most of the discomfort.’
    • ‘Lotions containing calamine may be used on open lesions to reduce pain and pruritus.’
    • ‘Over-the-counter hydrocortisone cream or calamine lotion will reduce itching and inflammation.’
    • ‘Like calamine lotion on burnt skin, it soothes the blistering heat of the local cooking.’
    • ‘Works better than calamine lotion for itchy rashes.’
    • ‘Your doctor might have you use antihistamine pills, a steroid cream, calamine lotion, or zinc oxide cream.’
    • ‘Applying calamine lotion to itchy areas may help.’
    • ‘Antihistamines and calamine lotion can be used to bring down swelling and ease itching.’
    • ‘I've used hydrocortisone creams and calamine lotion, but they only relieve my symptoms minimally.’
    • ‘If you get bitten, wash the area with soap and water or apply calamine lotion or one of the many cortisone creams on the market.’
    • ‘Put calamine lotion on itchy areas (but don't use it on the face, especially near the eyes).’
    1. 1.1dated Smithsonite or a similar zinc ore.
      • ‘Business interests are represented by documents relating to calamine mining on Malham Moor and the collection includes particularly rich archives for Craven area townships.’
      • ‘Historically, smithsonite is referred to as calamine in some descriptive literature, particularly that related to Great Britain and Australia, leading to confusion with hemimorphite if specific compositional data are lacking.’
      • ‘For example, the calamine violet grows only where the soil is highly enriched in zinc, and the copper flower grows in areas of copper mineralization.’


Late Middle English: via Old French from medieval Latin calamina, alteration of Latin cadmia ‘calamine’, from Greek kadmeia (gē) ‘Cadmean (earth)’, from Kadmos ‘Cadmus’ (see Cadmus).