cal·​a·​mari | \ ˌkä-lə-ˈmär-ē How to pronounce calamari (audio) , ˈka-lə-ˌmer-ē\

Definition of calamari

: squid used as food

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Did You Know?

The word calamari was borrowed into English from 17th-century Italian, where it functioned as the plural of "calamaro" or "calamaio." The Italian word, in turn, comes from the Medieval Latin noun calamarium, meaning "ink pot or "pen case," and can be ultimately traced back to Latin calamus, meaning "reed pen." The transition from pens and ink to squid is not surprising, given the inky substance that a squid ejects and the long tapered shape of the squid's body. English speakers have also adopted "calamus" itself as a word referring to both a reed pen and to a number of plants.

Examples of calamari in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web

Simple cauliflower, cooked three ways (caramelized, fermented, simmered), is sublime, while the calamari is prepared like cacio e pepe, and the iced dessert pop pairs with a cocktail poured tableside—like carrot cake condensed in a glass. Mary Winston Nicklin, Condé Nast Traveler, "Istria Has All the Beauty of the Mediterranean and None of Croatia's Crowds," 16 Aug. 2019 If the fast-and-furious vibe doesn’t click your clock, the food will — perfectly fried calamari and shrimp, in a suit coat of batter, served hot as a Harley and lickety-split. Chris Erskinecolumnist, Los Angeles Times, "Have a California moment at Neptune’s Net, a landmark seafood shack in Malibu," 8 Aug. 2019 The African crew of chefs whips up dishes such as The Rock Special — lobster, cigal, king prawns, octopus and calamari, all expertly done on the grill. Wire Service, The Mercury News, "The world’s best waterfront restaurants promise more than a view," 23 July 2019 With a sweet and sour kick, the umami calamari is topped with roasted peanuts, carrots and cabbage. Camila Vallejo,, "Happy hour of the month: Tisane Euro Asian Cafe in Hartford," 9 July 2019 Next, Minaj and Fallon ordered more food than the pair could possibly eat, including a few whole lobsters, crab legs, garlic shrimp scampi, cajun chicken pasta, fried shrimp, oysters, muscles, fried calamari, steak, and more. Dave Quinn,, "Nicki Minaj Returns to Red Lobster After Being Fired for Dinner Date with Jimmy Fallon," 28 June 2019 Also featured on the Northeast-flies-South menu is a sampler of foods from both directions: Nashville hot chicken, clam strips, Point Judith calamari, buttermilk biscuits, and stuffies. Betsy Blumenthal, Condé Nast Traveler, "What to Do in Charlotte, N.C. This Summer," 21 June 2019 But then the server also neglects to tell me that the calamari serving could feed eight. Polly Campbell,, "What happens when our food reviewer has a bad day. (Hint: She's got some feelings)," 31 May 2019 Featuring bite-sized calamari, scallops and rock shrimp, the seafood itself was cooked properly, however, the breading was too thick and lacked crunch. Lindsey Mcclave, The Courier-Journal, "At pricey East End Italian restaurant, you may be paying more for the experience than food," 26 June 2019

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'calamari.' 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 calamari

1826, in the meaning defined above

History and Etymology for calamari

Italian, plural of calamaro, calamaio, from Medieval Latin calamarium ink pot, from Latin calamus; from the inky substance the squid secretes

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Last Updated

26 Sep 2019

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Time Traveler for calamari

The first known use of calamari was in 1826

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Spanish Central: Translation of calamari

Nglish: Translation of calamari for Spanish Speakers

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