• synonyms


  1. any fossil plant of the genus Calamites and related genera of the Carboniferous Period, resembling oversized horsetails and constituting much of the coal used as fuel.
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Origin of calamite

1745–55; < New Latin Calamites the genus name, Latin calamītēs < Greek kalamī́tēs reedlike. See calamus, -ite1
Related formscal·a·mi·te·an [kal-uh-mahy-tee-uh n] /ˌkæl əˈmaɪ ti ən/, adjectiveca·lam·i·toid [kuh-lam-i-toid] /kəˈlæm ɪˌtɔɪd/, adjective
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

Examples from the Web for calamite

Historical Examples of calamite

  • Calamite, kal′a-mīt, n. a fossil plant abundant in the coal-measures, believed to be a kind of gigantic horse-tails (Equisetace).

    Chambers's Twentieth Century Dictionary (part 1 of 4: A-D)


British Dictionary definitions for calamite


  1. any extinct treelike plant of the genus Calamites, of Carboniferous times, related to the horsetails
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Word Origin for calamite

C19: from New Latin Calamītes type genus, from Greek kalamitēs reedlike, from kalamos reed
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