[ kal-uh-muhs ]
See synonyms for calamus on
noun,plural cal·a·mi [kal-uh-mahy]. /ˈkæl əˌmaɪ/.
  1. the sweet flag, Acorus calamus.

  2. its aromatic root.

  1. any of various tropical Asian palms of the genus Calamus, some of which are a source of rattan.

  2. the hollow base of a feather; a quill.

Origin of calamus

1350–1400; Middle English <Latin <Greek kálamos reed, stalk

Words Nearby calamus Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2023

How to use calamus in a sentence

  • Dan, and Greece, and Mosel have set forth in thy marts wrought iron: stacte, and calamus were in thy market.

  • The pen (calamus) was made of a reed brought to a point and cleft much as our quill pens are.

    The Private Life of the Romans | Harold Whetstone Johnston
  • Then follow other articles of commerce: bright iron, cassia, calamus and precious cloths for chariots.

    The Prophet Ezekiel | Arno C. Gaebelein
  • Dan also and Javan going to and fro occupied in thy fairs: bright iron, cassia, and calamus, were in thy market.

    The Prophet Ezekiel | Arno C. Gaebelein
  • It loves the roots of several species of nymphae, but its favourite is calamus root (calamus or acorus aromaticus).

    The Hunters' Feast | Mayne Reid

British Dictionary definitions for calamus


/ (ˈkæləməs) /

nounplural -mi (-ˌmaɪ)
  1. any tropical Asian palm of the genus Calamus, some species of which are a source of rattan and canes

  2. another name for sweet flag

  1. the aromatic root of the sweet flag

  2. ornithol the basal hollow shaft of a feather; quill

Origin of calamus

C14: from Latin, from Greek kalamos reed, cane, stem

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