\ 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

According to the listing, the ingredients include a propellant, alcohol, iron oxides, talc, and fumed silica. Cheryl Wischhover, Vox, "How spray-on hair does (and doesn’t) work," 17 Dec. 2018 Johnson's Baby Powder, which is formulated with the controversial ingredient talc, was listed as one of the products from the company that allegedly led to Slemp's illness. Sarah Kinonen, Allure, "Johnson & Johnson Was Ordered to Pay a Record-Setting Verdict [Update]," 16 July 2018 Other companies, including Colgate-Palmolive Co. and Proctor & Gamble Co., have also been accused of allowing asbestos to contaminate talc in their cosmetic products. Jef Feeley, Bloomberg.com, "J&J Jury Set to Weigh Banker's Claims Baby Powder Caused Cancer," 4 Apr. 2018 Nationwide, Johnson & Johnson is fighting around 9,000 other talc cases. Jericka Duncan, CBS News, "Johnson & Johnson still battling thousands of cases involving its talcum powder," 13 July 2018 The plaintiffs’ lawyers argued during the six-week trial that asbestos fibers mixed with the talc used to make Johnson’s Baby Powder entered the bodies of women who used the product every day for decades for feminine hygiene. Sara Randazzo, WSJ, "J&J Hit With $4.7 Billion Jury Verdict in Baby Powder Suit," 12 July 2018 Plaintiffs in talc cases have approached litigation in smaller groups instead of suing Johnson & Johnson en masse. New York Times, "Johnson & Johnson Told to Pay $4.7 Billion in Baby Powder Lawsuit," 12 July 2018 Johnson & Johnson says its talc does not contain asbestos. Jen Christensen, CNN, "Johnson & Johnson hit with $25.75 million verdict in talc-asbestos case," 24 May 2018 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

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

26 Dec 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

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with talc

Spanish Central: Translation of talc

Nglish: Translation of talc for Spanish Speakers

Britannica.com: Encyclopedia article about talc

Comments on talc

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someone who never drinks alcohol

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