calamus

play
noun cal·a·mus \ ˈka-lə-məs \

Definition of calamus

plural calami play \-ˌmī, -ˌmē\
1 a :sweet flag
b :the aromatic peeled and dried rhizome of the sweet flag that is the source of a carcinogenic essential oil
2 :the hollow basal portion of a feather below the vane :quill

Origin and Etymology of calamus

Latin, reed, reed pen, from Greek kalamos — more at haulm


Medical Dictionary

calamus

play
noun cal·a·mus \ ˈkal-ə-məs \

medical Definition of calamus

plural calami play \-ˌmī, -ˌmē\
2 :the aromatic peeled and dried rhizome of the sweet flag that is the source of a carcinogenic essential oil

Learn More about calamus


Seen and Heard

What made you want to look up calamus? Please tell us where you read or heard it (including the quote, if possible).

Love words? Need even more definitions?

Subscribe to America's largest dictionary and get thousands more definitions and advanced search—ad free!

WORD OF THE DAY

a ram's-horn trumpet used in Judaism

Get Word of the Day daily email!

Test Your Vocabulary

Merriam-Webster's New Words Quiz—Fall 2017 Edition!

  • young-plant-shoots
  • Which of the following is a new sense of the word bunny?
How Strong Is Your Vocabulary?

Test your vocabulary with our 10-question quiz!

TAKE THE QUIZ
SCRABBLE® Sprint

Test Your Knowledge - and learn some interesting things along the way.

TAKE THE QUIZ

Love words? Need even more definitions?

Subscribe to America's largest dictionary and get thousands more definitions and advanced search—ad free!