- the sweet flag, Acorus calamus.
- its aromatic root.
- any of various tropical Asian palms of the genus Calamus, some of which are a source of rattan.
- the hollow base of a feather; a quill.
Origin of calamus
1350–1400; Middle English < Latin < Greek kálamos reed, stalk
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018
Examples from the Web for calamus
One of the genus Calamus, used for wicker-work, seats of chairs, &c.The Sailor's Word-Book
William Henry Smyth
Calamus, also derived from the Greek, means a reed or reed-like plant.
Sin-skuskba, which some Ponkas said was the calamus, is now very rare.Omaha sociology (1884 N 03 / 1881-1882 (pages 205-370))
James Owen Dorsey
It resembles sweet-flag (Calamus) and has been mistaken for it.Ginseng and Other Medicinal Plants
A. R. (Arthur Robert) Harding
Walt was thirty-six when Leaves appeared; forty-one when Calamus was written.Ivory Apes and Peacocks
- any tropical Asian palm of the genus Calamus, some species of which are a source of rattan and canes
- another name for sweet flag
- the aromatic root of the sweet flag
- ornithol the basal hollow shaft of a feather; quill
C14: from Latin, from Greek kalamos reed, cane, stem
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition © William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012