[kuh-lahy-uh-pee; for 1 also kal-ee-ohp]


Also called steam organ. a musical instrument consisting of a set of harsh-sounding steam whistles that are activated by a keyboard.
(initial capital letter) Also Kalliope. Classical Mythology. the Muse of heroic poetry.


Origin of calliope

1855–60, Americanism; < Latin < Greek Kalliópē, equivalent to kalli- calli- + op- (stem of óps) voice + feminine ending Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

Examples from the Web for calliope

Historical Examples of calliope

  • His father was Apollo, the god of music and of song, his mother the muse Calliope.

  • The man inside the calliope, the fireman, was too industrious.

  • "No need to go to the table if you don't want," Calliope told her.

  • When we stepped out in the snow again, Calliope's face was shining.

  • "Delia's out here now," Calliope called from the dark steps.

British Dictionary definitions for calliope



US and Canadian a steam organ

Word Origin for calliope

C19: after Calliope (literally: beautiful-voiced)



Greek myth the Muse of epic poetry
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 calliope

1858, "steam-whistle keyboard organ," named for Calliope, ninth and chief muse, presiding over eloquence and epic poetry, Latinized from Greek Kalliope, literally "beautiful-voiced," from kalli-, combining form of kallos "beauty" + opos (genitive of *ops) "voice," related to Latin vox (see voice (n.)).

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper