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[kal-uh s]
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  1. Maria Men·e·ghi·ni [men-i-gee-nee] /ˌmɛn ɪˈgi ni/, 1923–77, U.S. soprano.


  1. Also called calla lily, arum lily. any of several plants belonging to the genus Zantedeschia, of the arum family, especially Z. aethiopica, having arrow-shaped leaves and a large white spathe enclosing a yellow spike.
  2. a related plant, Calla palustris, of cold marshes of Europe and North America, having heart-shaped leaves.

Origin of calla

< New Latin (Linnaeus)
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

Examples from the Web for callas

Historical Examples

  • The next evening she expected him to call, but he only sent her a bunch of callas.

    The Faith Doctor

    Edward Eggleston

  • Callas, like all other bulbous plants, must have a season of rest.

    Your Plants

    James Sheehan

  • Think of great patches of callas in blossom nearly all the time.

  • Just think of picking roses and callas with snow in plain sight!

    How We are Fed

    James Franklin Chamberlain

  • An hour later Robert appeared at the door with a bunch of callas, to which Mrs. Hilbrough's card was attached.

    The Faith Doctor

    Edward Eggleston

British Dictionary definitions for callas


  1. Maria, real name Maria Anna Cecilia Kalageropoulos . 1923–77, Greek operatic soprano, born in the US


  1. Also called: calla lily, arum lily any southern African plant of the aroid genus Zantedeschia, esp Z. aethiopica, which has a white funnel-shaped spathe enclosing a yellow spadix
  2. an aroid plant, Calla palustris, that grows in wet places and has a white spathe enclosing a greenish spadix, and red berries

Word Origin

C19: from New Latin, probably from Greek kalleia wattles on a cock, probably from kallos beauty
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