Definition of terra alba in US English:

terra alba


  • Pulverized gypsum, especially as an ingredient of medicines.

    • ‘Dusting compounds such as asbestos-free talc and terra alba can be added to prevent the tablet cores and granules from adhering to one another and to the pan during the seal coat.’
    • ‘For softer and real gesso use gypsum or calcium sulfate in the form of terra alba, alabaster gypsum or Italian gesso.’
    • ‘Twelve ounces of terra alba will coagulate enough soymilk to make 90 pounds of tofu and is preferred by many for a delicious source of dietary calcium.’
    • ‘Other names for edible terra alba are food-grade gypsum or food-grade calcium sulfate.’
    • ‘Natural Pigments offers terra alba imported from Cennino Cennini's hometown in northern Italy and near the same location where he undoubtedly obtained his own gesso.’


Latin, literally ‘white earth’.


terra alba

/ˌterə ˈalbə/