- a hardened conglomeration of gravel, rock, and soil that contains sodium nitrate, potassium nitrate, etc., found mainly in arid regions of Chile and Argentina
- a type of hardpan found in arid regions, as in the SW U.S., containing calcareous deposits, esp. of calcium carbonate
Origin of calicheAmerican Spanish ; from Spanish cal, lime ; from Classical Latin calx: see calcium
- a. A mineral deposit rich in sodium nitrate occurring naturally in Chile, Peru, and the southwest United States, and used as fertilizer, in explosives, and as a raw material for manufacturing nitric acid.b. See sodium nitrate.
- a. The accretions of calcium carbonate in soil.b. See hardpan.
Origin of calicheAmerican Spanish, from Spanish, pebble in a brick, flake of lime, from cal, lime, from Latin calx, calc-, lime; see calx.