cal·​lig·​ra·​phy | \ kə-ˈli-grə-fē How to pronounce calligraphy (audio) \

Definition of calligraphy

1a : artistic, stylized, or elegant handwriting or lettering
b : the art of producing such writing
3 : an ornamental line in drawing or painting

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Other Words from calligraphy

calligraphic \ ˌka-​lə-​ˈgra-​fik How to pronounce calligraphic (audio) \ adjective
calligraphically \ ˌka-​lə-​ˈgra-​fi-​k(ə-​)lē How to pronounce calligraphically (audio) \ adverb

Synonyms & Antonyms for calligraphy



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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 Mao often used a brush and ink to write his correspondence and poetry in calligraphy. Isis Davis-marks, Smithsonian Magazine, "A Stolen Mao Zedong Scroll Was Found Cut in Half," 9 Oct. 2020 While Fendi’s traditional FF logo is a worthy route to take, the brand, which is now helmed by Dior Men’s Kim Jones, also offers a pair with a white-thread calligraphy motif on black tights. Eliza Huber,, "Logo Tights Are Trending — Here Are 7 Pairs That Are All Over Instagram," 8 Oct. 2020 Worshippers are no longer allowed to touch the Kaaba, which is draped in black cloth adorned with Arabic calligraphy in gold. NBC News, "Saudi Arabia: Umrah pilgrims return to a Mecca stilled by Covid-19 slump," 4 Oct. 2020 Calasso also writes by hand, in a near-indecipherable calligraphy. Tim Parks, The New York Review of Books, "The Writer–Translator Equation," 21 Sep. 2020 The paper is suitable for calligraphy pens, brush and ball pens, acrylic colors, watercolor, and more. Popular Science, "Notable notebooks for writing and drawing," 17 Sep. 2020 Xi Jinping Thought is not as appealing as the free classes on offer: calligraphy, kick-boxing, Pilates and Zumba. The Economist, "The red front-line China’s Communist Party is splurging on new local drop-in centres," 12 Sep. 2020 One is covered in thick sweeps of black Chinese calligraphy from shoulder to wrist. The Economist, "The new ink masters China makes its mark on the world of tattoos," 29 Aug. 2020 The Dallas Japanese Association and the Fort Worth Japanese Society will collaborate on the programming, which will include performances of traditional music and dance, poetry and modern calligraphy. Shannon Sutlief, Dallas News, "Fun things to do this month in Dallas-Fort Worth — online, outdoors and more," 27 Aug. 2020

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

1590, in the meaning defined at sense 1b

History and Etymology for calligraphy

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

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Time Traveler for calligraphy

Time Traveler

The first known use of calligraphy was in 1590

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Statistics for calligraphy

Last Updated

20 Oct 2020

Cite this Entry

“Calligraphy.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 22 Oct. 2020.

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More Definitions for calligraphy


How to pronounce calligraphy (audio)

English Language Learners Definition of calligraphy

: the art of making beautiful handwriting


cal·​li·​gra·​phy | \ kə-ˈli-grə-fē How to pronounce calligraphy (audio) \

Kids Definition of calligraphy

1 : beautiful artistic handwriting
2 : the art of producing beautiful handwriting

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