American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth Edition
- n. A colorless, white or brown tasteless compound, Hg2Cl2, used as a purgative and insecticide. Also called mercurous chloride.
Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia
- n. Hemi-, sub-, or protochlorid of mercury, or mercurous chlorid, Hg2Cl2. It was formerly prepared by grinding in a mortar mercury sulphate with as much mercury as it already contained, and heating the mixture with salt until it sublimed. It is now prepared by subliming corrosive sublimate with the proper quantity of mercury. It also occurs native in tetragonal crystals, which are white-gray or yellowish in color and have an adamantine luster. It is sectile, and is hence called
horn-mercuryor horn-quicksilver. It is usually sold in the form of a white powder, odorless, tasteless, and insoluble in water, alcohol, or ether. Calomel is extensively used in medicine, especially in inflammations of serous membranes and as a purgative. Also called subchloridand protochlorid of mercury, and corneous mercury.
- n. inorganic chemistry mercurous chloride Hg2Cl2
GNU Webster's 1913
- n. (Chem.) Mild chloride of mercury, Hg2Cl2, a heavy, white or yellowish white substance, insoluble and tasteless, much used in medicine as a mercurial and purgative; mercurous chloride. It occurs native as the mineral
- n. a tasteless colorless powder used medicinally as a cathartic
- Probably from New Latin calomelās : Greek kalos, beautiful + melās, black. (American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth Edition)
“In the nineteenth century, a mercury compound called calomel was used to treat everything from tuberculosis and parasites to toothaches and constipation.”
“A mercury-containing powder called calomel was given to babies for teething pains in the 1940s and caused pink disease a syndrome that included cognitive and psychiatric disorders that mimicked autism.”
“In a general way, treatment for this sort of headache consists in the use of a cathartic, such as calomel (three-fifths of a grain) at night, followed by a Seidlitz powder or a tablespoonful of Epsom salts in a glass of cold water in the morning.”
“Use vaseline or some other grease (such as calomel ointment) _beforehand_, to prevent direct contact with the source of infection.”
“As the secretion diminishes, dry powders, such as calomel, sulphates of iron, copper, etc., may prove of most advantage.”
“A trip to the medical doctor in September of 1895 could involve the taking of medicines such as calomel (mercury chloride) or tarter emetic to induce vomiting or create a laxative effect, or if one suffered a cough, a dose of opium could calm it quick.”
“In Barbados Mr Ody, master mate of the Arab, was poisoned by eating "a Mangereen apple", causing "severe vomiting and violent convulsions, I poured down a good quantity of sweet oil, applied the warm bath, gave him a calomel purge & the next morning he brought away a considerable quantity of blood and skins of the stomach being corroded by the virulence of the fruit".”
“Even calomel and sago couldn't help three men struck by lighting on the same ship in October 1799.”
“Alcott wrote.38 The doctors gathered around their suffering comrade giving her doses of calomel, taking her pulse, and examining her lungs.”
“The liver was thought usually to be the source of disease, and a mercury compound named calomel was believed to be a great healer of all liver ailments.”
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