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 As a calico lobster, Freckles is a one-in-30-million find. Theresa Machemer, Smithsonian Magazine, 13 May 2021 The male calico lobster, named Freckles by the Red Lobster team in Manassas, arrived at the restaurant on April 25 as part of its Maine lobster delivery. Alaa Elassar, CNN, 9 May 2021 But instead of being butter-poached and served alongside cheddar biscuits, the calico lobster is headed to an exhibit in Virginia. Washington Post, 9 May 2021 In Minneapolis in 1888, 21-year-old reporter Eva McDonald slipped onto the floor of the Shotwell, Clerihew and Lothmann factory on the banks of the Mississippi, where hundreds of women hunched over long tables, sewing calico shirts and overalls. Kim Todd, Star Tribune, 24 Mar. 2021 After her brother died, the family was just O’Dette, her uncle and his spoiled calico cat, Babbee. Paige Fry,, 19 Feb. 2021 In a video from the meeting, Planning Commissioner Chris Platzer holds up his calico cat to the camera and introduces it to the others on the call before swiftly tossing it over his left shoulder. Zachary Halaschak, Washington Examiner, 10 Dec. 2020 But instead of calico prints and vintage gingham, Raza worked with smoky bergamot and a surprising water-lily note for an ethereal, aquatic quality. Zoe Ruffner, Vogue, 14 Nov. 2020 Face masks aren’t authentic to the 19th century, even if they are made of calico or homespun. Joanne Y. Cleaver,, 8 Nov. 2020

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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Statistics for calico

Last Updated

23 May 2021

Cite this Entry

“Calico.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 20 Jun. 2021.

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More Definitions for calico



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)

More from Merriam-Webster on calico

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for calico

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


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