or cal·lis·then·ics

[ kal-uh s-then-iks ]
/ ˌkæl əsˈθɛn ɪks /


(used with a plural verb) gymnastic exercises designed to develop physical health and vigor, usually performed with little or no special apparatus.
(used with a singular verb) the art, practice, or a session of such exercises.

Origin of calisthenics

1840–50; cali- (variant of calli-) + Greek sthén(os) strength + -ics
Related formscal·is·then·ic, cal·is·then·i·cal, adjective Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

Examples from the Web for calisthenics

British Dictionary definitions for calisthenics


/ (ˌkælɪsˈθɛnɪks) /


a variant spelling (esp US) of callisthenics
Derived Formscalisthenic, adjective
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 calisthenics



1847 (calisthenic (adj.) is from 1839), formed on model of French callisthenie, from Latinized comb. form of Greek kallos "beauty" + sthenos "strength" + -ics. Originally, gymnastic exercises suitable for girls and meant to develop the figure and promote graceful movement. The proper Greek, if there was such a word in Greek, would have been *kallistheneia.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper

Medicine definitions for calisthenics


[ kăl′ĭs-thĕnĭks ]


Gymnastic exercises, such as sit-ups, designed to develop muscular tone and promote physical fitness.
The American Heritage® Stedman's Medical Dictionary Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company.