\ ˈtalk \

Definition of talc 

1 : a very soft mineral that is a basic silicate of magnesium, has a soapy feel, and is used especially in making talcum powder

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Other words from talc

talcose \ˈtal-ˌkōs \ adjective

Examples of talc in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web

Well, a 2016 study on 2,000 women suggested that the association between ovarian cancer and talcum powder comes from talc — a mineral made up of magnesium, silicon, and oxygen, that absorbs moisture — not asbestos. refinery29.com, "Johnson & Johnson Owes $4.69 Billion In Another Ovarian Cancer Case," 13 July 2018 Plaintiffs’ lawyers have argued that talc causes mesothelioma in other cases, including a California lawsuit in which a jury awarded a woman $25.75 million and a South Carolina case that ended in a hung jury. Sara Randazzo, WSJ, "J&J Hit With $4.7 Billion Jury Verdict in Baby Powder Suit," 12 July 2018 The two minerals are often mined near each other, although since the 1970s, talc used in all consumer products has been required to be asbestos-free. Jen Christensen, CNN, "Johnson & Johnson hit with $25.75 million verdict in talc-asbestos case," 24 May 2018 Johnson & Johnson should ready itself for a flood of new lawsuits after a jury Thursday ordered the company to pay $4.69 billion to 22 women who blamed their ovarian cancer on asbestos in its talc products, legal experts said. Jef Feeley And Margaret Cronin Fisk, BostonGlobe.com, "Johnson & Johnson’s $4.69 billion talc verdict may open floodgates to more suits," 14 July 2018 For even more of highlighting power, there's the Luxury Illuminating Powder, a talc-free formula made with micro-pearl pigments to capture and diffuse light. Marci Robin, Allure, "Rodin Launches a Mermaid Collection With Five New Glow-Inducing Beauty Products," 5 June 2018 This type of talc is not used in modern consumer products. NBC News, "Johnson & Johnson talc verdict goes against what is known about cancer," 13 July 2018 The asbestos cases are part of more than 9,000 claims facing J&J alleging its talc products cause cancer. Tim Bross, Time, "Women Claimed Johnson & Johnson's Talc Powder Gave Them Cancer. They Just Won $4.7 Billion in Damages," 14 July 2018 The claims rest on the fact that talc, a clay mineral, is often found in deposits alongside asbestos ore, which definitely is a cancer risk. David Meyer, Fortune, "Does J&J's Baby Powder Cause Cancer? A Jury Just Said Yes With an Enormous $4.69 Billion Penalty," 13 July 2018

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'talc.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

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First Known Use of talc

1610, in the meaning defined at sense 1

History and Etymology for talc

French, from Middle French talk, from Medieval Latin talc, talcum, from Arabic ṭalq

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Dictionary Entries near talc


Talbot's law




talca gum


Statistics for talc

Last Updated

19 Sep 2018

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for talc

The first known use of talc was in 1610

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More Definitions for talc


\ ˈtalk \

Kids Definition of talc

: a soft mineral that has a soapy feel and is used especially in making talcum powder


\ ˈtalk \

Medical Definition of talc 

: a very soft mineral Mg3Si4O10(OH)2 that is a basic silicate of magnesium, has a soapy feel, and is used especially in making talcum powder

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More from Merriam-Webster on talc

See words that rhyme with talc

Spanish Central: Translation of talc

Nglish: Translation of talc for Spanish Speakers

Britannica.com: Encyclopedia article about talc

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