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 (kă-lā′, kăl′ā)
A city of northern France on the Strait of Dover opposite Dover, England. The city fell to the English in 1347 after a siege of 11 months and was retaken by the French in 1558.


(ˈkæleɪ; French kalɛ)
(Placename) a port in N France, on the Strait of Dover: the nearest French port to England; belonged to England 1347–1558. Pop: 75 790 (2006)


(ˈkæl eɪ, kæˈleɪ, ˈkæl ɪs)

a seaport in N France, on the Strait of Dover: the French port nearest England. 76,935.
ThesaurusAntonymsRelated WordsSynonymsLegend:
Noun1.Calais - a town in northern France on the Strait of Dover that serves as a ferry port to EnglandCalais - a town in northern France on the Strait of Dover that serves as a ferry port to England; in 1347 it was captured by the English king Edward III after a long siege and remained in English hands until it was recaptured by the French king Henry II in 1558
France, French Republic - a republic in western Europe; the largest country wholly in Europe
References in classic literature ?
Calais was the place of general rendezvous, and at Calais he had named to each of his recruits the hostelry of "Le Grand Monarque," where living was not extravagant, where sailors messed, and where men of the sword, with sheath of leather, be it understood, found lodging, table, food, and all the comforts of life, for thirty sous per diem.
Off that place, one of the three had inquired at what time they would reach Calais.
He departed for Calais, and having reached that place in safety, it might have been supposed that he went to Dover; but instead he took the diligence to Dunkirk, and thence travelled to Brussels, for which place he had a former predilection.
He had asked the prisoner, aboard the Calais packet, if he wanted a handy fellow, and the prisoner had engaged him.
If Bordeaux and Calais be gone, then what is left for England?
A low-lying place and a low-spirited place Calais was, with the tide ebbing out towards low water-mark.
Let us sail before the wind, and unless it changes we shall be drifted either to Calais or Boulogne.
Gayer sallies, more merry mirth, better jokes, and brighter repartees, you never heard over your mahogany, than you will hear over the half-inch white cedar of the whale-boat, when thus hung in hangman's nooses; and, like the six burghers of Calais before King Edward, the six men composing the crew pull into the jaws of death, with a halter around every neck, as you may say.
The same night Old Sharon started for France, by way of Dover and Calais.
Men made songs and sang of his victories, of Crecy and of Calais, and France bowed the knee to England.
I will neither open my mouth nor draw my sword between this and Calais.
Having been thus harassed in my thoughts, my old pilot, to whom I communicated everything, pressed me earnestly not to go by sea, but either to go by land to the Groyne, and cross over the Bay of Biscay to Rochelle, from whence it was but an easy and safe journey by land to Paris, and so to Calais and Dover; or to go up to Madrid, and so all the way by land through France.