from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 4th Edition

  • n. A crude sodium nitrate occurring naturally in Chile, Peru, and the southwest United States, used as fertilizer.
  • n. See sodium nitrate.
  • n. See hardpan.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

  • n. A crude form of sodium nitrate from South America; used as a fertilizer.
  • n. A layer of hard clay subsoil; hardpan.

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • n. a deposit of sand or clay on the surface containing crystallized salts such as sodium chloride or sodium nitrate; -- used especially of the sodium nitrate deposits of Chile and Peru.
  • n. a stratum of calcium carbonate in the soil of an arid or semiarid region.

from The Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia

  • n. The local South American name of the native impure nitrate of soda (Chili saltpeter), of much importance in the commerce of South America.

from WordNet 3.0 Copyright 2006 by Princeton University. All rights reserved.

  • n. nitrate-bearing rock or gravel of the sodium nitrate deposits of Chile and Peru
  • n. crust or layer of hard subsoil encrusted with calcium-carbonate occurring in arid or semiarid regions


from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 4th Edition

American Spanish, from Spanish, pebble in a brick, flake of lime, from cal, lime, from Latin calx, calc-, lime; see calx.


  • The term caliche is Spanish and is originally from the Latin calx, meaning lime. - Business News

  • In alkaline soils of arid and semiarid areas a white, nonporous layer composed mainly of calcium carbonate and known as caliche, can form in this horizon, and if it is too close to the surface it may cause problems with root growth and drainage (Box 9.3).

    5. How plants live and grow

  • There is also a thick layer of hard clay, known as caliche, that allows the heavy planes to be stored on the desert without a concrete pad or steel for parking.

    The MotorSportsNews.Net(work)

  • It contains calcareous matter; the sandy soil grades down to a thick arenaceous "caliche" which is a layer of sand cemented into a limestone by interstitial deposition of calcium carbonate.

    Western Gulf coastal grasslands

  • In the desert Daniel glides over rocky caliche and scrub brush.

    An Ugly Man

  • Holly turned in through the open gate and onto the pitted caliche road, which desperately needed to be graded, and bounced up to the house.

    A Light at Winter’s End

  • They put the tools in the back of the pickup and barreled up the caliche road to the Fisher house.

    A Light at Winter’s End

  • I dreamt within the caliche army slaughter-dogs of chalk and beasts that not for quiet hunger blazed:


  • I'd climbed across the outside of it, kicking up dust from that caliche baked hard in the sun, to a clump of oaks along the rim.


  • He watched the agent walk across the blindingly white caliche parking lot.



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