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[kuh-lip-soh] /kəˈlɪp soʊ/
noun, plural Calypsos.
Also, Kalypso. Classical Mythology. a sea nymph who detained Odysseus on the island of Ogygia for seven years.
(lowercase). Also called fairy-slipper. a terrestrial orchid, Calypso bulbosa, of the Northern Hemisphere, having a single variegated purple, yellow, and white flower.
(lowercase) a musical style of West Indian origin, influenced by jazz, usually having topical, often improvised, lyrics.
verb (used without object)
(lowercase) to sing or dance to calypso.
Origin of Calypso
the name of the musical style is of obscure origin and perhaps only copies the spelling of Calypso the sea nymph
Related forms
[kuh-lip-soh-nee-uh n, kal-ip-] /kə lɪpˈsoʊ ni ən, ˌkæl ɪp-/ (Show IPA),
noun, adjective Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018.
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Examples from the Web for Calypso
Historical Examples
  • Calypso found him there, sitting alone, weeping and longing for his home.

  • Calypso is the concealer, she who conceals spirit in the jungle of nature.

    Homer's Odyssey Denton J. Snider
  • Hermes is sent by the supreme deity to Calypso, with the decree.

    Homer's Odyssey Denton J. Snider
  • Calypso imparts the decree to Ulysses, who soon sets about doing his part.

    Homer's Odyssey Denton J. Snider
  • We may now begin to see what Calypso means, in outline at least.

    Homer's Odyssey Denton J. Snider
  • It is Ulysses who is "reluctant," and Calypso who is "amorous."


    Sir Walter Alexander Raleigh
  • The Calypso is water-logged, will no longer obey her helm, and must surely sink.

    The Land of Fire Mayne Reid
  • All were lost except Ulysses, who floated on a mast to the island of Calypso.

  • No, not especially,” returned Calypso, “it is about the same all over.

    Unveiling a Parallel

    Alice Ilgenfritz Jones and Ella Marchant
  • On the island was its Calypso, the only member of The Family in town.

    It Never Can Happen Again

    William De Morgan
British Dictionary definitions for Calypso


noun (pl) -sos
a popular type of satirical, usually topical, West Indian ballad, esp from Trinidad, usually extemporized to a percussive syncopated accompaniment
a dance done to the rhythm of this song
Word Origin
C20: probably from Calypso


noun (pl) -sos
a rare N temperate orchid, Calypso (or Cytherea) bulbosa, whose flower is pink or white with purple and yellow markings
Word Origin
C19: named after Calypso


(Greek myth) (in Homer's Odyssey) a sea nymph who detained Odysseus on the island of Ogygia for seven years
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 Calypso

sea nymph in the "Odyssey," literally "hidden, hider" (perhaps originally a death goddess) from Greek kalyptein "to cover, conceal," from PIE *kel- "to cover, conceal, save," root of English Hell (see cell). The West Indian type of song is so called from 1934, of unknown origin or connection to the nymph.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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