from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 5th Edition.

  • noun A pointed extension on the toe or heels of a horseshoe, designed to prevent slipping.
  • noun A spiked plate that is fixed on the bottom of a shoe to prevent slipping and preserve the sole.

from The Century Dictionary.

  • To drive oakum into the seams of (a ship or other vessel). See calking, 1.
  • To cover with chalk, as the back of a design, for the purpose of transferring a copy of it.
  • To copy, as a drawing, a map, etc., by tracing. See calking.
  • noun A spur projecting downward from a horseshoe, serving to prevent slipping.
  • noun A piece of iron with sharp points worn on the sole or heel of the shoe or boot to prevent slipping on the ice or to make it wear longer: also worn by lumbermen in the woods, and especially on the drive.
  • To fit with calks, as horseshoes.
  • To injure or hurt with a calk, as when a horse wounds one of his feet with the calk on another foot.
  • To calculate.
  • noun A calking; in a slang use, a surreptitious nap; a snooze.

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English.

  • transitive verb To drive tarred oakum into the seams between the planks of (a ship, boat, etc.), to prevent leaking. The calking is completed by smearing the seams with melted pitch.
  • transitive verb To make an indentation in the edge of a metal plate, as along a seam in a steam boiler or an iron ship, to force the edge of the upper plate hard against the lower and so fill the crevice.
  • transitive verb To copy, as a drawing, by rubbing the back of it with red or black chalk, and then passing a blunt style or needle over the lines, so as to leave a tracing on the paper or other thing against which it is laid or held.
  • noun A sharp-pointed piece of iron or steel projecting downward on the shoe of a horse or an ox, to prevent the animal from slipping; -- called also calker, calkin.
  • noun An instrument with sharp points, worn on the sole of a shoe or boot, to prevent slipping.
  • noun same as caulk{2}, n..
  • intransitive verb To furnish with calks, to prevent slipping on ice.
  • intransitive verb To wound with a calk; as when a horse injures a leg or a foot with a calk on one of the other feet.
  • intransitive verb same as caulk{2}, v. t..

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License.

  • noun A pointed projection on a horseshoe to prevent it slipping.
  • verb Alternative spelling of caulk.

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

  • noun a metal cleat on the bottom front of a horseshoe to prevent slipping
  • verb seal with caulking
  • verb provide with calks
  • verb injure with a calk


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

[Probably back-formation from obsolete calkin, from Middle English kakun, possibly from Middle Dutch kalkoen, hoof, or from Old French calcain, heel (Middle Dutch, from Old French), from Latin calcāneum, heel bone; see calcaneus.]


  • "A little 'calk' all round won't hurt us after that tramp, Sergeant!" he observed kindly.

    The Luck of the Mounted A Tale of the Royal Northwest Mounted Police

  • And many hours more, day by day, he dragged himself around it, lying on his side to calk the gaping seams with moss.

    Chapter VIII

  • Most of the time I really and truely just calk it up to him being there, dealing with all the stress alone and those extremely long missions!

    When Goodbye Feels More Like Good Riddance - SpouseBUZZ

  • They said to us, "Here's a brand new pool, better than the old one and ... oh yeah, here's a tube of calk - you want to climb up and fix that leaky roof??"

    Agents, reviews, rights -- and things

  • Then it was decided to take part of the cargo out and calk her topsides.

    Youth, by Joseph Conrad

  • 'Sam Turk had nothing whatsoever to do with incident,' said Christian, decisively, and he calk for a second television and video recorder, equipment having arrived, he inserted into second machine the news tape of Digby's de from his hotel and his encounter with the rail lobby |


  • He waited with a new missile at the moment, the America one called Stinger, but all of the surface-to-air missiles in the group-indeed, throughout the whole area-were merely calk arrows now: tools for the Archer.

    The Cardinal of the Kremlin

  • If a calk wound has been inflicted, the adjoining surface structures are freed of hair and the parts cleansed in the usual manner, (which in wounds recently inflicted, should be done without employing quantities of water) and after painting the wound surface with tincture of iodin and saturating its depths with the same agent, the wound is cleansed, if it contains filth, by means of a small curette.

    Lameness of the Horse Veterinary Practitioners' Series, No. 1

  • When due to calk wounds where horses are kicked, the injury is often on the side of the tarsus (medial or lateral) and such wounds not infrequently result in infectious arthritis.

    Lameness of the Horse Veterinary Practitioners' Series, No. 1

  • Morbific material is introduced into the region of the lateral cartilage by means of calk wounds and other penetrant injuries of the foot.

    Lameness of the Horse Veterinary Practitioners' Series, No. 1


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  • (Gee, thanks, WeirdNet.)

    "According to Nash, McHenry spoke the language of a shoer. 'Let's try him with a sharp calk running from the inside toe around the outside of the shoe to the outside heels, as close as you can have the calk,' McHenry told Nash. 'Then calk his shoes in front and make them sharp; also shorten his toes as much as you can and leave the heels alone.'"

    —Charles Leerhsen, Crazy Good: The True Story of Dan Patch (New York: Simon & Schuster, 2008), 223

    October 27, 2008

  • (verb) - (1) To calculate, reckon. --Walter Skeat's Student's Pastime, 1896 (2) Shortened from calcule. --Sir James Murray's New English Dictionary, 1893 (3) He began to calke how the sonne was in Gemini. --Stephen Hawes' Pastime of Pleasure, 1509

    February 18, 2018