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[kuh-lahy-uh-pee; for 1 also kal-ee-ohp] /kəˈlaɪ ə pi; for 1 also ˈkæl iˌoʊp/
Also called steam organ. a musical instrument consisting of a set of harsh-sounding steam whistles that are activated by a keyboard.
(initial capital letter). Also, Kalliope. Classical Mythology. the Muse of heroic poetry.
Origin of calliope
1855-60, Americanism; < Latin < Greek Kalliópē, equivalent to kalli- calli- + op- (stem of óps) voice + feminine ending Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2015.
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Examples from the web for calliope
  • Out on the floor, a calliope of slot machines jingles with jackpots and payouts.
  • There was a carousel spinning around, playing calliope music.
  • We're building out the calliope bar area at the top aft of the boat for al fresco dining.
  • On the stern, a hot dog stand serves its eponymous treats while a steam calliope entertains.
  • Wildlife photographers look out for mule deer, moose, osprey and calliope hummingbirds.
  • Wildlife in the region includes mule deer, moose, osprey and calliope hummingbirds.
British Dictionary definitions for calliope


(US & Canadian) a steam organ
Word Origin
C19: after Calliope (literally: beautiful-voiced)


(Greek myth) the Muse of epic poetry
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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Word Origin and History for calliope

1858, "steam-whistle keyboard organ," named for Calliope, ninth and chief muse, presiding over eloquence and epic poetry, Latinized from Greek Kalliope, literally "beautiful-voiced," from kalli-, combining form of kallos "beauty" + opos (genitive of *ops) "voice," related to Latin vox (see voice (n.)).

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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