• synonyms


[key-liks, kal-iks]
noun, plural ca·lyx·es, cal·y·ces [kal-uh-seez, key-luh-] /ˈkæl əˌsiz, ˈkeɪ lə-/.
  1. Botany. the outermost group of floral parts; the sepals.
  2. Anatomy, Zoology. a cuplike part.
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Origin of calyx

1665–75; < Latin < Greek kályx husk, covering, akin to kalýptein to veil, cover
Related formscal·y·cate [kal-i-keyt] /ˈkæl ɪˌkeɪt/, adjective
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

Related Words

husk, leaf, petal, sepal

Examples from the Web for calyxes

Historical Examples

  • We use angle nozzles, the better to direct the spray into the calyxes.

    Trees, Fruits and Flowers of Minnesota, 1916


  • The erect, straight pods, two or three inches long, are silky and also the calyxes and buds.

  • The anthers are orange; ovary white or pinkish; calyxes and buds purplish-red.

  • The calyxes and buds are downy and the flowers bright pink or rose-purple, delicately veined.

  • The calyxes are worked in satin stitch with moss green silk, and the lilies-of-the-valley with white silk.

British Dictionary definitions for calyxes


noun plural calyxes or calyces (ˈkælɪˌsiːz, ˈkeɪlɪ-)
  1. the sepals of a flower collectively, forming the outer floral envelope that protects the developing flower budCompare corolla
  2. any cup-shaped cavity or structure, esp any of the divisions of the human kidney (renal calyx) that form the renal pelvis
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Derived Formscalycate (ˈkælɪˌkeɪt), adjective

Word Origin

C17: from Latin, from Greek kalux shell, from kaluptein to cover, hide
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 calyxes



1680s, from Latin calyx, from Greek kalyx "seed pod, husk, outer covering" (of a fruit, flower bud, etc.), from root of kalyptein "to cover, conceal" (see cell). The proper plural is calyces. Some sources connect the word rather with Greek kylix "drinking cup."

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Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper

calyxes in Medicine


(kālĭks, kălĭks)
  1. Variant ofcalix
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The American Heritage® Stedman's Medical Dictionary Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company.

calyxes in Science


[kālĭks, kălĭks]
  1. The sepals of a flower considered as a group. The calyx is the outermost whorl of a flower. See more at sepal.
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The American Heritage® Science Dictionary Copyright © 2011. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.