[ kalk ]
/ kælk /


a loan translation, especially one resulting from bilingual interference in which the internal structure of a borrowed word or phrase is maintained but its morphemes are replaced by those of the native language, as German halbinsel for peninsula.

verb (used with object), calqued, cal·quing.

to form (a word or phrase) through the process of loan translation.


Nearby words

  1. calpac,
  2. calpain,
  3. calpe,
  4. calpers,
  5. calpurnia,
  6. caltanissetta,
  7. caltech,
  8. caltrop,
  9. caltrop family,
  10. calumet

Origin of calque

1655–65; < French, noun derivative of calquer to copy, base on < Italian calcare to trace over, tread < Latin: to trample Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

British Dictionary definitions for calque


/ (kælk) /


another word for loan translation

verb calques, calquing or calqued

(tr) another word for calk 3

Word Origin for calque

C20: from French: a tracing, from calquer, from Latin calcāre to tread

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 calque



"loan translation of a foreign word or phrase," from French calque, literally "a copy," from calquer "to trace by rubbing" (itself borrowed in English 1660s as calk), introduced 16c. from Italian calcare, from Latin calcare "to tread, to press down."

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper