[ kuh-lip-soh ]

noun,plural Ca·lyp·sos.
  1. Also Ka·lyp·so .Classical Mythology. a sea nymph who detained Odysseus on the island of Ogygia for seven years.

  2. (lowercase)Also called fair·y-slip·per [fair-ee-slip-er] /ˈfɛər iˌslɪp ər/ . a terrestrial orchid, Calypso bulbosa, of the Northern Hemisphere, having a single variegated purple, yellow, and white flower.

  1. (lowercase) a musical style of West Indian origin, influenced by jazz, usually having topical, often improvised, lyrics.

verb (used without object)
  1. (lowercase) to sing or dance to calypso.

Origin of Calypso

The name of the musical style is of obscure origin and perhaps only copies the spelling of Calypso the sea nymph

Other words from Calypso

  • ca·lyp·so·ni·an [kuh-lip-soh-nee-uhn, kal-ip-], /kə lɪpˈsoʊ ni ən, ˌkæl ɪp-/, noun, adjective

Words Nearby Calypso Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2023

How to use Calypso in a sentence

  • A couple of men were fixing the trellises, and Calypso excused himself to his wife and me and went over to them.

    Unveiling a Parallel | Alice Ilgenfritz Jones and Ella Marchant
  • It droops over the taffrail of a barque of some six hundred tons burden, and below it, on her stern, is lettered the Calypso.

    The Land of Fire | Mayne Reid

British Dictionary definitions for calypso (1 of 3)


/ (kəˈlɪpsəʊ) /

nounplural -sos
  1. a popular type of satirical, usually topical, West Indian ballad, esp from Trinidad, usually extemporized to a percussive syncopated accompaniment

  2. a dance done to the rhythm of this song

Origin of calypso

C20: probably from Calypso

British Dictionary definitions for calypso (2 of 3)


/ (kəˈlɪpsəʊ) /

nounplural -sos
  1. a rare N temperate orchid, Calypso (or Cytherea) bulbosa, whose flower is pink or white with purple and yellow markings

Origin of calypso

C19: named after Calypso

British Dictionary definitions for Calypso (3 of 3)


/ (kəˈlɪpsəʊ) /

  1. Greek myth (in Homer's Odyssey) a sea nymph who detained Odysseus on the island of Ogygia for seven years

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