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[chal-is] /ˈtʃæl ɪs/
  1. a cup for the wine of the Eucharist or Mass.
  2. the wine contained in it.
a drinking cup or goblet.
a cuplike blossom.
Origin of chalice
before 900; Middle English < Middle French < Latin calici- (stem of calix) cup; replacing Middle English caliz, calc, Old English calic < Latin calici-, as above
Related forms
[chal-ist] /ˈtʃæl ɪst/ (Show IPA),
adjective Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2015.
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Examples from the web for chalice
  • The shock was not mortal when they concluded a living wage would be a poisoned chalice.
  • They will pray and place their handwritten ballots in a chalice atop an altar.
  • Blossoms are chalice shaped, flaring at the mouth into two unequal lips, the lower one larger than the upper.
  • For one thing, there is no credible replacement willing to grasp the poisoned chalice.
  • The result is a thick revelation that's best sipped from a snifter or chalice.
  • Our destiny offers, not the cup of despair, but the chalice of opportunity.
  • He drinks wine out of gold goblets and eats cereal out of a turquoise chalice.
  • Faith is identified by her now-broken cross and chalice.
  • Faith, gowned in purest white and surrounded by a halo of divine light, holds a chalice with a serpent she need not fear.
  • Power without surveillance by higher authorities was a poisoned chalice that transformed character in unpredictable directions.
British Dictionary definitions for chalice


(poetic) a drinking cup; goblet
(Christianity) a gold or silver cup containing the wine at Mass
the calyx of a flower, esp a cup-shaped calyx
Word Origin
C13: from Old French, from Latin calix cup; related to Greek kalux calyx
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 chalice

early 14c., from Anglo-French chalice, from Old French chalice, collateral form of calice (Modern French calice), from Latin calicem (nominative calix) "cup," cognate with Greek kylix "cup, drinking cup, cup of a flower," from PIE root *kal- "cup." Ousted Old English cognate cælic, an ecclesiastical borrowing of the Latin word, and earlier Middle English caliz, from Old North French.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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