One of the mysteries of the English language finally explained.
1Palaeontology. Characteristic of or resembling fossil plants of the genus Calamites, which had distinctive grooved and jointed stems. Now rare.
2Physical Chemistry. Designating a mesophase or liquid crystal consisting of cylindrical or rodlike molecules, or the molecules themselves.
Late 19th century; earliest use found in Annals and Magazine of Natural History. From calamite + -ic.
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