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Borrowed from Latin calamistrum (a curling-iron).


calamistrum (plural calamistra)

  1. (zoology) A comb-like structure on the metatarsus of the hind legs of certain spiders (Ciniflonidae), used to curl certain fibres in the construction of their webs.

Part or all of this entry has been imported from the 1913 edition of Webster’s Dictionary, which is now free of copyright and hence in the public domain. The imported definitions may be significantly out of date, and any more recent senses may be completely missing.
(See the entry for calamistrum in
Webster’s Revised Unabridged Dictionary, G. & C. Merriam, 1913.)


Alternative forms[edit]


Apparently from Ancient Greek καλάμιστρος (kalámistros, stipula), from κάλαμος (kálamos, reed), referring to the tubular shape of the heated curling irons. Perhaps influenced by Latin instrumental suffix -trum.



calamistrum n (genitive calamistrī); second declension

  1. curling iron, curling tongs
  2. excessively ornamented words


Second declension.

Case Singular Plural
nominative calamistrum calamistra
genitive calamistrī calamistrōrum
dative calamistrō calamistrīs
accusative calamistrum calamistra
ablative calamistrō calamistrīs
vocative calamistrum calamistra

Derived terms[edit]



  • calamistrum in Charles du Fresne du Cange’s Glossarium Mediæ et Infimæ Latinitatis (augmented edition, 1883–1887)
  • calamistrum in Harry Thurston Peck, editor (1898) Harper's Dictionary of Classical Antiquities, New York: Harper & Brothers
  • calamistrum in William Smith et al., editor (1890) A Dictionary of Greek and Roman Antiquities, London: William Wayte. G. E. Marindin