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[kahm; older use kam; spelling pronunciation kahlm] /kɑm; older use kæm; spelling pronunciation kɑlm/
adjective, calmer, calmest.
without rough motion; still or nearly still:
a calm sea.
not windy or stormy:
a calm day.
free from excitement or passion; tranquil:
a calm face; a calm manner.
freedom from motion or disturbance; stillness.
Meteorology. wind speed of less than 1 mile per hour (0.447 m/sec).
freedom from agitation, excitement, or passion; tranquillity; serenity:
She faced the possibility of death with complete calm.
verb (used with object)
to make calm:
He calmed the excited dog.
verb (used without object)
to become calm (usually followed by down).
Origin of calm
1350-1400; (noun, adj.) Middle English calm(e) < Italian calma (noun), calmo (adj.) < Late Latin cauma summer heat (with l perhaps from Latin calēre to be hot) < Greek kaûma (stem kaumat-) burning heat; akin to kaíein to burn (see caustic); (v.) Middle English calmen < Italian calmare, derivative of the noun
Related forms
calmingly, adverb
calmly, adverb
calmness, noun
quasi-calm, adjective
quasi-calmly, adverb
uncalm, adjective
uncalmly, adverb
uncalmness, noun
1. quiet, motionless. 3. placid, peaceful, serene, self-possessed. Calm, collected, composed, cool imply the absence of agitation. Calm implies an unruffled state, especially under disturbing conditions: calm in a crisis. Collected implies complete inner command of oneself, usually as the result of an effort: He remained collected in spite of the excitement. One who is composed has or has gained dignified self-possession: pale but composed. Cool implies clarity of judgment along with apparent absence of strong feeling or excitement, especially in circumstances of danger or strain: so cool that he seemed calm. 7. still, quiet, tranquilize; allay, assuage, mollify, soothe, soften.
2. tempestuous. 3. agitated. Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2016.
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Examples from the Web for calmer
Contemporary Examples
Historical Examples
  • He felt there was added a newer and calmer element of joy to his love.

    The Claim Jumpers Stewart Edward White
  • My grandmother, when you are calmer, and when I myself am calmer, I will speak to you on this subject.

    Fairy Fingers Anna Cora Mowatt Ritchie
  • Inanimate objects are no calmer than passions and cares now seem to be, all laid asleep.

  • In calmer moments, such questions might be thought worthy of an answer.

    The Quadroon Mayne Reid
  • Death, which seemed so arbitrary and reckless, is vindicated by our wiser and calmer judgment.

    Dust Julian Hawthorne
British Dictionary definitions for calmer


almost without motion; still: a calm sea
(meteorol) of force 0 on the Beaufort scale; without wind
not disturbed, agitated, or excited; under control: he stayed calm throughout the confusion
tranquil; serene: a calm voice
an absence of disturbance or rough motion; stillness
absence of wind
(often foll by down) to make or become calm
Derived Forms
calmly, adverb
calmness, noun
Word Origin
C14: from Old French calme, from Old Italian calma, from Late Latin cauma heat, hence a rest during the heat of the day, from Greek kauma heat, from kaiein to burn
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
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Word Origin and History for calmer



late 14c., from Old French calme "tranquility, quiet," traditionally from Old Italian calma, from Late Latin cauma "heat of the mid-day sun" (in Italy, a time when everything rests and is still), from Greek kauma "heat" (especially of the sun), from kaiein "to burn" (see caustic). Spelling influenced by Latin calere "to be hot." Figurative application to social or mental conditions is 16c.


late 14c., from Old French calme, carme "stillness, quiet, tranquility," from the adjective (see calm (adj.)).


late 14c., from Old French calmer or from calm (adj.). Related: Calmed; calming.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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Related Abbreviations for calmer


Children Affected with Lymphatic Malformations
The American Heritage® Abbreviations Dictionary, Third Edition
Copyright © 2005 by Houghton Mifflin Company.
Published by Houghton Mifflin Company. All rights reserved.
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