The word calm is actually an old way of saying “still heat”, a heat that is not dry and yet not humid. It was used to describe the sort of day that just sat in wait and had the potential to be energetic but stayed still. This is why people associate the word calm with peace. Calm is a type of attitude where indifference is expressed.

In Italy the word calm was used to describe a day that rests and is still. That definition still carries over to today where the word calm is used to describe a lack of movement. Say a lake, where there’s no wind and no surface disturbance at all, it is untouched and still.

late 14c., from O.Fr. calme, traditionally from O.It. calma, from L.L. cauma “heat of the mid-day sun” (in Italy, a time when everything rests and is still), from Gk. kauma “heat” (especially of the sun), from kaiein “to burn.” Spelling influenced by L. calere “to be hot.” Figurative application to social or mental conditions is 16c


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1 Comment

  1. OK, this is a little better; I gave you full credit for this since you added the etymology as requested.


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