• synonyms


verb (used with object)
  1. to deprive (a sailing vessel) of the wind necessary to move it; subject to a calm: The schooner was becalmed in the horse latitudes for two weeks.
  2. Archaic. to calm; pacify.
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Origin of becalm

First recorded in 1550–60; be- + calm
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

Related Words for becalmed

compose, relax, placate, steady, quiet, soothe, settle, lull, pacify, allay, still

Examples from the Web for becalmed

Historical Examples of becalmed

  • But the Richlings were becalmed in theirs, and, not knowing it, were satisfied.

    Dr. Sevier

    George W. Cable

  • They had kept their course too far from shore, and were becalmed in consequence.

  • They were becalmed and were twenty-five days making the voyage.

  • For several months Crosson waited about, becalmed in the doldrums.

    In a Little Town

    Rupert Hughes

  • It was necessary to build them high, in order that the sails might not be becalmed by the houses.

    Rollo in Holland

    Jacob Abbott

British Dictionary definitions for becalmed


  1. (of a sailing boat or ship) motionless through lack of wind
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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

Word Origin and History for becalmed



1550s, from be- + calm. Related: Becalmed; becalming.

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Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper