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[kal-uh-muh s] /ˈkæl ə məs/
noun, plural calami
[kal-uh-mahy] /ˈkæl əˌmaɪ/ (Show IPA)
the sweet flag, Acorus calamus.
its aromatic root.
any of various tropical Asian palms of the genus Calamus, some of which are a source of rattan.
the hollow base of a feather; a quill.
Origin of calamus
1350-1400; Middle English < Latin < Greek kálamos reed, stalk Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2015.
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British Dictionary definitions for calamus


noun (pl) -mi (-ˌmaɪ)
any tropical Asian palm of the genus Calamus, some species of which are a source of rattan and canes
another name for sweet flag
the aromatic root of the sweet flag
(ornithol) the basal hollow shaft of a feather; quill
Word Origin
C14: from Latin, from Greek kalamos reed, cane, stem
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
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calamus in the Bible

the Latin for cane, Hebrew _Kaneh_, mentioned (Ex. 30:23) as one of the ingredients in the holy anointing oil, one of the sweet scents (Cant. 4:14), and among the articles sold in the markets of Tyre (Ezek. 27:19). The word designates an Oriental plant called the "sweet flag," the Acorus calamus of Linnaeus. It is elsewhere called "sweet cane" (Isa. 43:24; Jer. 6:20). It has an aromatic smell, and when its knotted stalk is cut and dried and reduced to powder, it forms an ingredient in the most precious perfumes. It was not a native of Palestine, but was imported from Arabia Felix or from India. It was probably that which is now known in India by the name of "lemon grass" or "ginger grass," the Andropogon schoenanthus. (See CANE.)

Easton's 1897 Bible Dictionary
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