from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

  • n. A type of plaster used in India, made from shell-lime and sand.

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • n. Quicklime; also, plaster or mortar.

from The Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia

  • n. In the East Indies, prepared lime.
  • n. A common name for plaster of quicklime and sand, the finest kinds of which are susceptible of a very high polish.
  • n. A weight for gold in northern India, equal to 6 troy grains.
  • To plaster with chunam.


From Tamil சுண்ணம் (cuṇṇam, "lime, ground mortar"), from Sanskrit चूर्ण (cūrṇa, "powder; lime"). (Wiktionary)


  • He used the word 'chunam', which in Chinese and Mongol means nothing. - Telegraph online, Daily Telegraph and Sunday Telegraph

  • It contains many smaller vessels fitted to the angles, for holding the nut, leaf, and chunam, which is quicklime made from calcined shells; with places for the instruments (kachip) employed in cutting the first, and spatulas for spreading the last.

    The History of Sumatra Containing An Account Of The Government, Laws, Customs And Manners Of The Native Inhabitants

  • Minto's skilful treatment, became gorgeous enough for the most exacting Asiatic, with its black marble floor, its rose-coloured silk walls where great silver sconces alternated with full-length portraits of British sovereigns, its white "chunam" columns and its gilt Italian furniture.

    The Days Before Yesterday

  • Workers are now removing the 'chunam' or quick lime, which had been applied to the hull below the waterline to keep it watertight during the voyage.

    Khaleej Times : UAE News

  • Here also were two cenotaphs in the center of the room, this time covered with a polished chunam, a lime plaster that had been dyed yellow with limestone.

    Shadow Princess

  • Its pillars were white but actually built in sandstone and polished with a high-gloss lime chunam.

    Shadow Princess

  • Resuming our peregrinations, we entered an abode distinguished by its external streak of chunam, and in a small room on the ground floor, cleanly white-washed and adorned, like an old

    First footsteps in East Africa

  • The best successes might be achieved in naturally dry sites, where hard chunam facings can stop surface erosion during heavy rains.

    2.1 Retaining walls

  • Even with these, many surfaces have failed when treated with chunam because too much water has percolated behind the surfacing from higher up the slope and it has flaked away from the less weathered material behind.

    2.1 Retaining walls

  • And when the Mother Superior's lumbago came on in direct consequence of the cold chunam, the annoyance of

    The Path of a Star


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