noun Hinduism.

the wife of Shiva and the malevolent form of the Mother Goddess.

Compare Pārvatī.
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

Examples from the Web for kali

Contemporary Examples of kali

Historical Examples of kali

  • A glance at his chief had warned Kali that trouble was in the air.

  • Actually, this hideous Kali stood to them for the Divine Mother.


    Goldsworthy Lowes Dickinson

  • As we waited for the tram, someone said, "Would you like to see Kali?"


    Goldsworthy Lowes Dickinson

  • An alkali procured by burning Salsola kali and other sea-shore plants.

    The Sailor's Word-Book

    William Henry Smyth

  • They're the web-weavers, the line-throwers, the connectors, Siva and Kali united in love.

    No Great Magic

    Fritz Reuter Leiber

British Dictionary definitions for kali



another name for saltwort (def. 1)



the Hindu goddess of destruction, consort of Siva. Her cult was characterized by savagery and cannibalism
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 kali


a name of Devi, the Hindu mother-goddess, in her death-goddess aspect, 1798, from Sanskrit kali, literally "the black one," fem. of kalah "blue-black, black," from a Dravidian language. Also taken as the fem. of kala "time" (as destroyer). She is portrayed as black-skinned, blood-smeared, and wearing a necklace of skulls and a girdle of snakes.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper