cal·​i·​co | \ ˈka-li-ˌkō How to pronounce calico (audio) \
plural calicoes or calicos

Definition of calico

1a : cotton cloth imported from India
b British : a plain white cotton fabric that is heavier than muslin
c : any of various cheap cotton fabrics with figured patterns
2 : a blotched or spotted animal especially : one that is predominantly white with red and black patches

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Other Words from calico

calico adjective

Examples of calico in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web The 6-month-old calico and her sibling were found to be emaciated, with low body temperatures and stomach issues. Arizona Republic, azcentral, "Ozzy and more pets up for adoption in Phoenix-area shelters this week," 22 Nov. 2019 The newspaper The Weekly Anglo-African gave the event glowing coverage, singling out Gloucester’s delegation for wearing nearly identical striped calico gowns. Steve Bell, New York Times, "Overlooked No More: Elizabeth A. Gloucester, ‘Richest’ Black Woman and Ally of John Brown," 18 Sep. 2019 Meet Stitches, an 11-year-old Tabico cat – a mixture of calico and tabby – that will be on hand once a week offering free comfort therapy to those passing through Terminal 1. Deanna Weniger, Twin Cities, "Meet ‘Stitches’: MSP airport has a comfort cat now," 9 Nov. 2019 The calico, of course, is made from rum, coconut cream and orange juice. Josie Sexton, The Know, "Denver’s newest hotel restaurant is the cat lady-themed pizzeria we didn’t know we needed," 29 Oct. 2019 The upper reaches, near the entrance, have seen tree loss in recent years and the brighter light has made New England and calico asters and various goldenrods happy but such shade lovers as sedges not so content. Washington Post, "How the National Arboretum got its ferns and became a civic treasure," 29 Oct. 2019 Mitchell made some drawings of their dining room: the view from the window, a basket of apples, flowers in a glass vase, her calico cat lounging on a pillow. Amanda Petrusich, The New Yorker, "Joni Mitchell Discusses Her New Book of Early Songs and Drawings," 16 Oct. 2019 The Maryland state dog is the Chesapeake Bay Retriever, and in 2001 the calico cat was chosen as Maryland’s state cat, because its colors match the red, black and white of the Maryland flag. Lois Szymanski,, "Szymanski: From blue crabs to sailing to black-eyed Susans, so many reasons to love Maryland," 4 Oct. 2019 The rare lobster is currently on display at the center's Discovery Wharf in Stonington, alongside three other rare lobsters – two calico and one blue – until mid-October. Fox News, "Rare two-toned 'Halloween lobster' found off coast of Maine, a '1-in-50-million' find," 10 Sep. 2019

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

1578, in the meaning defined at sense 1b

History and Etymology for calico

Calicut, India

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Time Traveler for calico

Time Traveler

The first known use of calico was in 1578

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Statistics for calico

Cite this Entry

“Calico.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 10 Jul. 2020.

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More Definitions for calico


How to pronounce calico (audio)

English Language Learners Definition of calico

US : a light, printed cotton cloth
British : a heavy, plain white cotton cloth
US : a cat that has white, brown, and black fur


cal·​i·​co | \ ˈka-li-ˌkō \
plural calicoes or calicos

Kids Definition of calico

1 : cotton cloth especially with a colored pattern printed on one side
2 : a blotched or spotted animal (as a cat)

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More from Merriam-Webster on calico

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for calico

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with calico

Spanish Central: Translation of calico

Nglish: Translation of calico for Spanish Speakers Encyclopedia article about calico

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