Definition of calorie in English:



  • 1Either of two units of heat energy:

    • ‘Only after we've squeezed every wasted kilowatthour or leaking calorie of heat out of our homes and businesses should we focus on generating more power.’
    • ‘One calorie of heat is equivalent to 4.2 joules of work.’
    • ‘By contrast, it takes only about 6 calories of heat to melt one gram of lead.’
    • ‘I feel a small fury begin to build, but inside I feel nothing, not a single calorie of heat.’
    • ‘He showed that when 4.184 joules of work is done, 1.0 calorie of heat is produced.’
    1. 1.1 The energy needed to raise the temperature of 1 gram of water through 1 °C (now usually defined as 4.1868 joules).
    2. 1.2 The energy needed to raise the temperature of 1 kilogram of water through 1 °C, equal to one thousand small calories and often used to measure the energy value of foods.
      • ‘Although sugar is lower in total calories per gram than fat, it contributes mightily to a fatty frame.’
      • ‘They can be entertaining, but it's like eating empty calories.’
      • ‘They are helpful because they contain about 100 calories of carbohydrate energy, with varying amounts of vitamins and minerals.’
      • ‘However, calories are calories, and to lose weight, you need to cut back.’
      • ‘Playing basketball can burn about 420 calories per hour.’
      • ‘By 1986, I was taking in 5,000 calories per day in the offseason.’
      • ‘A good way to provide additional protein without adding extra calories is by using a protein powder.’
      • ‘Each pound of fat your body stores represents 3,500 calories of unused energy.’
      • ‘Unfortunately, that much juice will add hundreds of excess sugar calories to your diet.’
      • ‘Calories from carbohydrates provide energy, while protein is needed for growth and tissue repair.’
      • ‘Physical activity helps control weight by burning excess calories that would otherwise be stored as fat.’
      • ‘Less than 30 percent of your total daily calories should come from fat.’
      • ‘A good laugh can burn up as many calories per hour as brisk walking.’
      • ‘Because a greater percentage of fat is burned at lower intensities, people assume more fat calories are expended.’
      • ‘A dieter needs a higher percentage of calories from protein just like an athlete does.’
      • ‘"Five hundred calories per hour, " she muttered and stabbed her ski poles meaningfully into the soft snow.’
      • ‘Researchers also advocate walking an extra mile each day to burn extra calories consumed.’
      • ‘Donnelly speculates that women may burn fewer calories during their workouts because they are physically smaller than men.’
      • ‘Experts recommend that active women get at least 55 percent of their calories from carbs.’
      • ‘No more than 30 percent of all the calories your child eats should be fat calories.’


Mid 19th century: from French, from Latin calor heat + French suffix -ie (see -y).