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[key-liks, kal-iks] /ˈkeɪ lɪks, ˈkæl ɪks/
noun, plural calyxes, calyces
[kal-uh-seez, key-luh-] /ˈkæl əˌsiz, ˈkeɪ lə-/ (Show IPA)
Botany. the outermost group of floral parts; the sepals.
Anatomy, Zoology. a cuplike part.
Origin of calyx
1665-75; < Latin < Greek kályx husk, covering, akin to kalýptein to veil, cover
Related forms
[kal-i-keyt] /ˈkæl ɪˌkeɪt/ (Show IPA),
adjective Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018.
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Examples from the Web for calyxes
Historical Examples
  • We use angle nozzles, the better to direct the spray into the calyxes.

  • The erect, straight pods, two or three inches long, are silky and also the calyxes and buds.

  • The anthers are orange; ovary white or pinkish; calyxes and buds purplish-red.

  • The calyxes and buds are downy and the flowers bright pink or rose-purple, delicately veined.

  • The calyxes are worked in satin stitch with moss green silk, and the lilies-of-the-valley with white silk.

  • The calyxes, before maturity, are soft and fleshy; when ripe, hard and wood-like in texture.

  • The leaves are long and silvery beneath; and the capsules, the peduncles, and the calyxes, are all woolly.

    Botany for Ladies Jane Loudon
  • He looked so desperate that she laughed her silver, ringing laughter that shook the rose‑petals from their calyxes.

    The Silver Butterfly Mrs. Wilson Woodrow
  • At last the field blossomed, and countless little blue flowers opened their calyxes to the golden sun.

    Myths of the Norsemen H. A. Guerber
  • All this bubbling of sap and slipping of sheaths and bursting of calyxes was carried to her on mingled currents of fragrance.

    Summer Edith Wharton
British Dictionary definitions for calyxes


/ˈkeɪlɪks; ˈkælɪks/
noun (pl) calyxes, calyces (ˈkælɪˌsiːz; ˈkeɪlɪ-)
the sepals of a flower collectively, forming the outer floral envelope that protects the developing flower bud Compare corolla
any cup-shaped cavity or structure, esp any of the divisions of the human kidney (renal calyx) that form the renal pelvis
Derived Forms
calycate (ˈkælɪˌkeɪt) adjective
Word Origin
C17: from Latin, from Greek kalux shell, from kaluptein to cover, hide
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 calyxes



1680s, from Latin calyx, from Greek kalyx "seed pod, husk, outer covering" (of a fruit, flower bud, etc.), from root of kalyptein "to cover, conceal" (see cell). The proper plural is calyces. Some sources connect the word rather with Greek kylix "drinking cup."

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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calyxes in Medicine

calyx ca·lyx (kā'lĭks, kāl'ĭks)
Variant of calix.

The American Heritage® Stedman's Medical Dictionary
Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company.
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calyxes in Science
  (kā'lĭks, kāl'ĭks)   
The sepals of a flower considered as a group. The calyx is the outermost whorl of a flower. See more at sepal.
The American Heritage® Science Dictionary
Copyright © 2002. Published by Houghton Mifflin. All rights reserved.
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