Definition of terra alba in US English:

terra alba


  • Pulverized gypsum, especially as an ingredient of medicines.

    • ‘For softer and real gesso use gypsum or calcium sulfate in the form of terra alba, alabaster gypsum or Italian gesso.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘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.’


Latin, literally ‘white earth’.


terra alba

/ˌterə ˈalbə/