Calque definition

kălk
Frequency:
To make a loan translation from (a word in another language).
verb
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A borrowing by which a specialized meaning of a word or phrase in one language is transferred to another language by a literal translation of each of the individual elements (Ex.: masterpiece, from German meisterstück)
noun
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A word or phrase in a language formed by word-for-word or morpheme-by-morpheme translation of a word in another language.

The word "watershed" is a calque of the German "Wasserscheide".

noun
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To adopt (a word or phrase) from one language to another by semantic translation of its parts.
verb
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Other Word Forms

Noun

Singular:
calque
Plural:
calques

Origin of calque

  • French from calquer to trace, copy from Italian calcare to press from Latin calcāre to tread on from calx heel

    From American Heritage Dictionary of the English Language, 5th Edition

  • From French calque (“calque/loan translation”), from French calquer (“to trace”), from Italian calcare.

    From Wiktionary