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Acorus calamus
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Borrowed from Latin calamus (reed, cane), from Ancient Greek κάλαμος (kálamos).


calamus (usually uncountable, plural calamuses or calami)

  1. The sweet flag, Acorus calamus.
    • Song of Solomon 4:12-14, KJV
      A garden inclosed is my sister, my spouse; a spring shut up, a fountain sealed. Thy plants are an orchard of pomegranates, with pleasant fruits; camphire, with spikenard, Spikenard and saffron; calamus and cinnamon, with all trees of frankincense; myrrh and aloes, with all the chief spices
  2. A quill.




From Ancient Greek κάλαμος (kálamos).



calamus m (genitive calamī); second declension

  1. a reed, cane
  2. (by extension) an object made from a reed, such as a pen, arrow, or fishing rod
    • Motto of Keio University:
      Calamus gladio fortior
      The pen is mightier than the sword.
  3. (of plants) a stalk, straw, blade
  4. the hollow arm of a candelabrum


Second declension.

Case Singular Plural
nominative calamus calamī
genitive calamī calamōrum
dative calamō calamīs
accusative calamum calamōs
ablative calamō calamīs
vocative calame calamī

Derived terms[edit]



  • calamus in Charlton T. Lewis and Charles Short (1879) A Latin Dictionary, Oxford: Clarendon Press
  • calamus in Charlton T. Lewis (1891) An Elementary Latin Dictionary, New York: Harper & Brothers
  • du Cange, Charles (1883), “calamus”, in G. A. Louis Henschel, Pierre Carpentier, Léopold Favre, editors, Glossarium Mediæ et Infimæ Latinitatis (in Latin), Niort: L. Favre
  • calamus in Gaffiot, Félix (1934) Dictionnaire Illustré Latin-Français [Illustrated Latin-French Dictionary], Hachette
  • calamus in Harry Thurston Peck, editor (1898) Harper's Dictionary of Classical Antiquities, New York: Harper & Brothers
  • calamus in William Smith et al., editor (1890) A Dictionary of Greek and Roman Antiquities, London: William Wayte. G. E. Marindin