cal·​lig·​ra·​phy kə-ˈli-grə-fē How to pronounce calligraphy (audio)
: artistic, stylized, or elegant handwriting or lettering
: the art of producing such writing
: an ornamental line in drawing or painting
calligraphic adjective
calligraphically adverb

Did you know?

Kalli- is a Greek root meaning "beautiful", and "beautiful" in the case of calligraphy means artistic, stylized, and elegant. Calligraphy has existed in many cultures, including Indian, Persian, and Islamic cultures; Arabic puts a particularly high value on beautiful script, and in East Asia calligraphy has long been considered a major art. Calligraphers in the West use pens with wide nibs, with which they produce strokes of widely differing width within a single letter.

Examples of calligraphy in a Sentence

she specializes in scrollwork with beautiful calligraphy
Recent Examples on the Web Before starting Apple, Jobs had numerous passions: meditation, calligraphy, fruitarianism, going barefoot. Scott Galloway, TIME, 15 July 2024 The artworks, mostly soft and sinuous, include a video of hair-braiding and a flock of curving sculptures, modeled on Persian calligraphy and suspended overhead. Mark Jenkins, Washington Post, 21 June 2024 Its collection — more than a million works of art -- is strong in maritime art and artifacts, Asian textiles, calligraphy, ceramics, Oceanic art, Asian export art, American portraits, furniture, silver, porcelain, Native American art, fashion, and photography. ... Brian T. Allen, National Review, 20 June 2024 Guests can learn Renaissance crafts such as basket and textile weaving, candle making and calligraphy at educational demonstrations led by potters, blacksmiths and other artisans. Claire Reid, Journal Sentinel, 11 June 2024 See all Example Sentences for calligraphy 

These examples are programmatically compiled from various online sources to illustrate current usage of the word 'calligraphy.' Any opinions expressed in the examples do not represent those of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback about these examples.

Word History


French or Greek; French calligraphie, from Greek kalligraphia, from kalli- beautiful (from kallos beauty) + -graphia -graphy

First Known Use

1590, in the meaning defined at sense 1b

Time Traveler
The first known use of calligraphy was in 1590

Dictionary Entries Near calligraphy

Cite this Entry

“Calligraphy.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 22 Jul. 2024.

Kids Definition


cal·​lig·​ra·​phy kə-ˈlig-rə-fē How to pronounce calligraphy (audio)
: beautiful handwriting
: the art of producing such handwriting

More from Merriam-Webster on calligraphy

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