cal·​a·​mari | \ˌkä-lə-ˈmär-ē, 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

Everything from Roman antipasti and fried calamari to gelato and pizzelle can be sampled at A Taste of Italy, which returns to the Italian Community Center in the Third Ward on April 22. Carol Deptolla, Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, "Italian Community Center offers A Taste of Italy on April 22," 9 Apr. 2018 Raw calamari and pork stored above lettuce and salsas. Robert Gundran, azcentral, "Restaurant with no sneeze guard on salsa bar among this week's violations," 11 July 2018 Attendees will also find calamari, hamburgers, hot dogs, Greek fries and Greek salad. Erin Sauder, Elgin Courier-News, "Opa! St. Sophia's Greek Fest celebrating its 39th year in Elgin this weekend," 10 July 2018 There’s also tagliatelle al nero allo scoglio, a squid ink pasta with shrimp, clams, Rhode Island calamari, white wine and tomato. Grace Wong,, "Eataly opens beach-inspired restaurant, plus other restaurant news," 26 June 2018 The duo also present their version of popcorn shrimp and breaded calamari, which is served in a traditional popcorn carton and garnished with fresh popcorn. Philip Potempa, Daily Southtown, "Guide to outdoor dining in Chicago suburbs: Tribes Alehouse in Tinley Park," 11 July 2018 Daily Catch is known for seafood, and the choices are scrawled on a chalkboard on the wall — mussels marinara, shrimp scampi, fried calamari. Kara Baskin,, "How to eat like a local in the North End," 3 July 2018 Main seafood dishes include the popular Mediterranean sea bass, chopped salmon salad and fisherman’s salad featuring octopus, calamari and shrimp with mixed greens. Joan Cary, Aurora Beacon-News, "Guide to outdoor dining in Chicago suburbs: Basil’s Greek Dining in Aurora," 8 July 2018 On a recent trip this writer plowed through the calamari (served with blue cheese and a Buffalo-wing style sauce, a genius idea), the lollipop lamb chops, a rib eye sandwich and the s’mores casserole. Michael Rosenberg,, "Inside The Woods, Tiger's Star-Studded Restaurant in Jupiter," 12 June 2018

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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to clear from alleged fault or guilt

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