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 Free order of calamari with any purchase to all veterans, active military, police officers and firefighters with a valid ID through Wednesday. Kelly Tyko, USA TODAY, "Veterans Day 2020 freebies: Where veterans, military can eat free, get a free haircut and find deals Wednesday," 11 Nov. 2020 But in the Ocean State, frying the calamari is merely the first step. Charles Passy, WSJ, "The Best Calamari? Make a Pilgrimage to Rhode Island," 28 Oct. 2020 The Harbour Breaded and battered fish, shrimp, calamari, sausage, haggis, fritters and pakora. Cheryl V. Jackson, The Indianapolis Star, "The food hall at Bottleworks is opening in January. Here's a list of the restaurants.," 19 Oct. 2020 Seafood paella includes mussels, shrimp, fish, calamari, scallops, vegetables, garlic, saffron and herbs in Arborio rice. Will Coviello,, "Gambit's 2020 Fall Dining Guide: Where to eat in the New Orleans area amid new reopening phase," 12 Oct. 2020 Smaller plates include white fish ceviche, a combination of calamari and fried onion rings with garlic and lime aioli and spicy tomato salad over tahini. Will Coviello,, "Misa restaurant opens where Bordeaux used to be in Uptown," 5 Oct. 2020 For the dine-in menu, start with fried calamari or homemade meatballs before selecting a soup or salad for the second course. Lauren Saria, The Arizona Republic, "Arizona Restaurant Week Fall 2020: Here are 15 great menus to try for dine-in or takeout," 17 Sep. 2020 And Rhode Island managed to upstage all the other states during the virtual roll call at the Democratic National Convention, thanks to a mysterious man in black holding up a plate of calamari. Michael Schulman, The New Yorker, "Is Richard Jenkins the Most Famous Person in Rhode Island?," 14 Sep. 2020 Joyce’s evocation of seafood helped counter last week’s visual of a plate full of calamari, displayed by a Rhode Islander during the Democrats’ roll call of the states. Robert T. Garrett, Dallas News, "Watch Live: Melania Trump’s task at Republican convention? Reassure voters, and ‘not cause any trouble’," 26 Aug. 2020

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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The first known use of calamari was in 1826

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Last Updated

20 Nov 2020

Cite this Entry

“Calamari.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 29 Nov. 2020.

More from Merriam-Webster on calamari

Nglish: Translation of calamari for Spanish Speakers

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