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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.
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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Encyclopedia Article for chalice

a cup used in the celebration of the Christian Eucharist. Both the statement of St. Paul about "the cup of blessing which we bless" (1 Corinthians 10:16) and the accounts of the institution of the Eucharist in the first three Gospels indicate that special rites of consecration attended the use of the chalice from the beginning. It was not until the recognition of Christianity by the Roman Empire in the 4th century that silver and gold became the usual materials for the chalice. In the Middle Ages the legend of the Holy Grail surrounded the origins of the eucharistic chalice with a magical aura.

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Encyclopedia Britannica, 2008. Encyclopedia Britannica Online.
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