• synonyms


or cal·lis·then·ics

[kal-uh s-then-iks]
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  1. (used with a plural verb) gymnastic exercises designed to develop physical health and vigor, usually performed with little or no special apparatus.
  2. (used with a singular verb) the art, practice, or a session of such exercises.
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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
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

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British Dictionary definitions for calisthenics


  1. a variant spelling (esp US) of callisthenics
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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.

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Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper

calisthenics in Medicine


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