from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 5th Edition.

  • noun The outermost part of a flower, consisting of the sepals.

from The Century Dictionary.

  • noun The expanded, cup-like, deciduous structure on the ends of the stems of certain entoproctous Polyzoa, containing most of the organs and hence practically an individual.
  • noun A depression formed by the more or less reticulate folding of the skin, as in the intromittent organs of snakes.
  • noun A cup-shaped excavation on the surface of the ovary which remains after the rupture of a Graafian vesicle.
  • noun Any circular piece which resembles in form the calyx of a flower.
  • noun In botany, in general, the outer set of the envelops which form the perianth of a flower.
  • noun In human anatomy, one of the cup-like or infundibuliform beginnings of the ureter in the pelvis of the kidney, surrounding the apices of the Malpighian pyramids, each receiving usually more than one pyramid.
  • noun In zoology: The cup at the base of the ciliated tentacles on the lophophore or oral disk of polyzoans. See Plumatella.
  • noun The pedicellated Graafian follicle, ovarian capsule, or ovisac of a bird, consisting of two membranes of lax tissue and blood-vessels, rupturing at a point called the stigma to discharge the ovum, then collapsing, and finally becoming absorbed.
  • noun In crinoids, the cup at the summit of the stȧlk or stem, whence the brachia radiate and on the surface of which is the mouth.
  • noun In Hydrozoa, a generative capsule developed in the axils of a branched hydroid stock, containing either medusa-buds or sexual organs.
  • noun Some other calyciform or cup-shaped part or organ of an animal.

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English.

  • noun (Bot.) The covering of a flower. See flower.
  • noun (Anat.) A cuplike division of the pelvis of the kidney, which surrounds one or more of the renal papillæ.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License.

  • noun anatomy A cup-like structure in the mammalian kidney.
  • noun botany The outermost whorl of flower parts, comprising the sepals, when it is not the same in appearance as the next such whorl (the corolla).
  • noun zoology The crown of a crinoid.

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

  • noun (botany) the whorl of sepals of a flower collectively forming the outer floral envelope or layer of the perianth enclosing and supporting the developing bud; usually green


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

[Latin calyx, calyc-, from Greek kalux.]

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

Latin calyx, from Ancient Greek κάλυξ (kalux, "case of a bud, husk").


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  • "To dig it is to know it. To know it is to feel it, the clitoris so complicated and so clever, as thrilly as a high-tension wire. In its nest within a nest like the word within a word. The bud in its calyx in the vales where the big lips cleave away from the slopes of the Mount of Venus. This is carnal knowledge."

    - 'The Politics Of Female Sexuality', Germaine Greer in Oz, 1970.

    March 28, 2008