Share this entry

calyx Line breaks: calyx
Pronunciation: /ˈkalɪks/
(also calix)

Definition of calyx in English:

noun (plural calyces ˈkalɪsiːzˈkeɪlɪsiːz or calyxes)

1 Botany The sepals of a flower, typically forming a whorl that encloses the petals and forms a protective layer around a flower in bud. Compare with corolla.
Example sentences
  • Similar to the color traits, plant prickles were also evaluated for individual organs including stem, leaf, and flower and fruit calyxes.
  • Unlike with other bulb flowers, the calyxes of amaryllises do not open quickly, so consider this when using them in flower arrangements for certain occasions.
  • The flower has a tubular calyx with four ovate lobes and a corolla with four overlapping petals.
2 Zoology A cup-like cavity or structure, in particular:
2.1A portion of the pelvis of a mammalian kidney.
Example sentences
  • The renal pelvis, calyces, and renal vein were grossly uninvolved.
  • You seem to be having a stone in the lower calyx of the right kidney.
  • In this case, the calyces are compressed by the markedly distended renal pelvis.
2.2The cavity in a calcareous coral skeleton that surrounds the polyp.
Example sentences
  • The polyp lived on top of a tabula in a depression in the top of the coral called the calyx.
2.3The plated body of a crinoid, excluding the stalk and arms.
Example sentences
  • The pattern of proximal axes being more aborally inclined than are distal axes is similar to that in C axes of crinoid calyx plates.
  • Although very few crinoid calyxes were encountered in the samples, columnals were ubiquitous and provided the basis for identification of crinoid genera.
  • The characters that make this species distinct from the members of the C. sampsoni clade are primarily the thin-plated calyx and basal plates, which are higher than wide.


Late 17th century: from Latin, from Greek kalux 'case of a bud, husk', related to kaluptein 'to hide'.

Words that rhyme with calyx

crucifix • suffix • Alex

Definition of calyx in:

Share this entry


What do you find interesting about this word or phrase?

Comments that don't adhere to our Community Guidelines may be moderated or removed.

Get more from Oxford Dictionaries

Subscribe to remove adverts and access premium resources

Word of the day confidant
Pronunciation: ˈkɒnfɪdant
a person with whom one shares a secret...