from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 4th Edition

  • adj. Nearly or completely motionless; undisturbed: the calm surface of the lake.
  • adj. Not excited or agitated; composed: The President was calm throughout the global crisis.
  • n. An absence or cessation of motion; stillness.
  • n. Serenity; tranquillity; peace.
  • n. A condition of no wind or a wind with a speed of less than 1 mile (2 kilometers) per hour, according to the Beaufort scale.
  • transitive v. To make or become calm or quiet: A warm bath will calm you. After the storm, the air calmed.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

  • adj. Peaceful, quiet, especially free from anger and anxiety.
  • adj. Free of noise and disturbance.
  • adj. with little waves on the surface.
  • n. The state of being calm; peacefulness; absence of worry, anger, fear or other strong negative emotion.
  • n. The state of being calm; absence of noise and disturbance.
  • n. A period of time without wind.
  • v. To make calm.
  • v. To become calm.

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • adj. Not stormy; without motion, as of winds or waves; still; quiet; serene; undisturbed.
  • adj. Undisturbed by passion or emotion; not agitated or excited; tranquil; quiet in act or speech.
  • n. Freedom from motion, agitation, or disturbance; a cessation or absence of that which causes motion or disturbance, as of winds or waves; tranquility; stillness; quiet; serenity.
  • intransitive v. To make calm; to render still or quiet, as elements.
  • intransitive v. To deliver from agitation or excitement; to still or soothe, as the mind or passions.

from The Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia

  • n. The condition of being without motion, agitation, or disturbance; stillness: properly of the air, and hence of the sea and of the weather in general.
  • n. Freedom from mental agitation or passion; tranquillity; quiet; serenity.
  • n. The scum of liquor.
  • Without motion; still; not stormy; undisturbed; not agitated; serene.
  • Free from mental agitation; undisturbed by passion; not agitated or excited; quiet; serene; tranquil, as the mind, temper, or attention: as, “calm words,”
  • Synonyms Calm, Placid, Tranquil, Serene, Quiet, Cool, Composed, Collected, smooth, peaceful, unruffled, imperturbable. All the italicized words, when applied to the mind, still suggest the physical phenomena which they primarily denote. Calm implies that the mind remains unagitated, even by care and anxiety. There is a tendency to use the word to express the most complete mastery of the emotions; but it is also used for the mere outward manner: as, in spite of his anger, he remained calm. Placid is by derivation associated with the notion of pleasure; it generally applies to that which belongs to the nature, but is also especially used of the face: as, a placid smile. Tranquil implies not so much a mastery of self amid disturbing circumstances as freedom from that which agitates, a settled calm. Serene, by its association with the aspects of the sky, implies an exalted calm, a tranquillity that rises above clouds or storms. Quiet, when applied to the disposition, implies that the person is naturally silent and undemonstrative; externally it implies that one is free from annoyances: as, to leave him in quiet. Like tranquil, but unlike the rest, it is not suggestive of a triumph of self-control over natural agitation of feelings or confusion of mind. Cool is the opposite of heated; it indicates that state in which the heat of feeling is perfectly kept down, so that the intellectual faculties are not hindered from their best operation. Composed is applicable to the state of both thoughts and feelings, while collected, gathered together, can be used only with reference to the thoughts. Composed differs from collected also in expressing, like calm, merely a frame of mind; while collected, like cool, expresses a readiness for action with the full and unimpeded force of the mind. See apathy.
  • To still; quiet, as the wind or elements.
  • To still, appease, allay, or pacify, as the mind or passions.
  • To becalm.
  • To become calm or quiet: as, the tempest now began to calm.
  • n. A cog of a wheel.
  • n. plural A mold; a frame, etc.
  • n. plural The small cords through which the warp is passed in a loom.
  • n. A dialectal form of qualm.

from WordNet 3.0 Copyright 2006 by Princeton University. All rights reserved.

  • v. make calm or still
  • adj. not agitated; without losing self-possession
  • adj. (of weather) free from storm or wind
  • n. wind moving at less than 1 knot; 0 on the Beaufort scale
  • v. make steady
  • v. cause to be calm or quiet as by administering a sedative to
  • v. become quiet or calm, especially after a state of agitation
  • n. steadiness of mind under stress


from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 4th Edition

Middle English calme, from Old French, from Old Italian calmo, from Late Latin cauma, heat of the day, resting place in the heat of the day, from Greek kauma, burning heat, from kaiein, to burn. N., from Middle English calme, from Italian calma, from Vulgar Latin *calma, from Late Latin.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

From Old French calme, from Old Italian calma. Calma may derive from Latin cauma ("heat of the midday sun"), from Ancient Greek καῦμα (kauma, "heat, especially of the sun"), from καίω (kaiō, "I burn"), or possibly from Latin caleō, from Ancient Greek (Doric) κάλεoς (of the Ionic κήλεος ("burning")).


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  • Next Week's Challenge: From puzzle writer Francis Heaney: Take the word "calm" and flip the letters A and L to get "clam."

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