[kuh-lawr-ik, -lor-]


of or relating to calories: the caloric content of food.
of or relating to heat.
(of engines) driven by heat.
high in calories: a caloric meal.


Archaic. a hypothetical fluid whose presence in matter was thought to determine its thermal state.

Origin of caloric

1785–95; < French calorique, equivalent to calor- (< Latin calor heat) + -ique -ic
Related formsca·lor·i·cal·ly, adverbcal·o·ric·i·ty [kal-uh-ris-i-tee] /ˌkæl əˈrɪs ɪ ti/, nounnon·ca·lor·ic, adjective Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

Examples from the Web for caloric

Contemporary Examples of caloric

Historical Examples of caloric

  • When I saw you on board the Caloric, my heart went down into my boots.

  • They sail, I understand, on the Caloric, which leaves in a week.

  • There was one man on board the Caloric to whom Wentworth had taken an extreme dislike.

  • Why is it necessary to consider the caloric value of a ration?

  • It was clear that the action of the caloric had been imperfect or unequal.

    The Short-story

    William Patterson Atkinson

British Dictionary definitions for caloric



of or concerned with heat or calories


obsolete a hypothetical elastic fluid formerly postulated as the embodiment of heat
Derived Formscaloricity (ˌkæləˈrɪsɪtɪ), noun
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 caloric

hypothetical fluid in a now-discarded model of heat exchange, 1792, from French calorique, coined in this sense by Lavoisier, from Latin calorem "heat" (nominative calor; see calorie). The adjective is recorded from 1865.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper

caloric in Medicine




Of or relating to calories.
Of or relating to heat.
The American Heritage® Stedman's Medical Dictionary Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company.