A transitive verb is a verb that requires a direct object (e.g. I bought a book.).
transitive verb
1. (to drench)
a. to soak
Pisé un charco y el agua me caló los zapatos y las medias.I stepped in a puddle, and the water soaked my shoes and socks.
La lluvia caló las hojas del libro que dejé sobre la mesa en el jardín.The rain soaked the pages of the book I left on the table in the garden.
b. to soak through
La tinta derramada caló el mantel y manchó la mesa.The ink that had been spilled soaked through the tablecloth and stained the table.
c. to penetrate
La lluvia caló el techo, que no estaba impermeabilizado.The rain penetrated the roof, which wasn't watertight.
2. (to cut)
a. to cut out
Primero se cala el dibujo con un cúter.First, you cut out the design using a craft knife.
b. to fret
A word or phrase that is only used by experts, professionals, or academics in a particular field (e.g. exposition).
Esta herramienta sirve para calar madera.This tool is used for fretting wood.
3. (to sample)
a. to cut a piece of
El vendedor caló la papaya para ver si estaba madura.The seller cut a piece of papaya to see if it was ripe.
A word or phrase that is commonly used in conversational speech (e.g. skinny, grandma).
(to figure out)
a. to see through
Este hombre es racista. Ya lo calé cuando evitó ayudar a esos refugiados.That man's a racist. I saw through him when he avoided helping those refugees.
b. to rumble (United Kingdom)
Calé a Lucy en el instante en que se acercó a hablar conmigo sobre el trabajo.I rumbled Lucy the moment she came to talk to me about the job.
c. to suss (United Kingdom)
Calé la situación en cuanto llegué a la reunión.I sussed the situation as soon as I got to the meeting.
d. to suss out (United Kingdom)
Yo lo calé desde el primer momento.I sussed him out right from the start.
5. (to bring down)
a. to lower
El capitán ordenó calar las velas.The captain gave the order to lower the sails.
6. (fishing)
a. to cast
Los pescadores calaron las redes y atraparon muchos peces.The fishermen cast their nets and caught a lot of fish.
7. (to assemble a bayonet)
a. to fix
Los soldados calaron las bayonetas para el ataque.The soldiers fixed bayonets for the assault.
An intransitive verb is one that does not require a direct object (e.g. The man sneezed.).
intransitive verb
8. (not to be waterproof)
a. to let water in
Necesito unos zapatos de hule para la lluvia porque los que tengo calan.I need a pair of galoshes for the rain because the ones I have let water in.
9. (to permeate)
a. to catch on (fashion, idea)
Esta moda caló el verano pasado.This fashion caught on last summer.
A phrase used as a figure of speech or a word that is symbolic in meaning; metaphorical (e.g. carrot, bean).
(to have an effect)
This refers to an idiomatic word or phrase for which there is no word-for-word translation.
no direct translation
La campaña del partido no ha calado en el electorado.The party's campaign didn't make any impression on the electorate.
Tus palabras calaron hondo en mí.Your words made a deep impression on me.
11. (nautical)
a. to draw
A plena carga, estos portacontenedores calan 16 metros.Fully laden, these container ships draw 16 meters.
b. to have a draft
Regionalism used in the United States
(United States)
Estos barcos tienen 300 metros de eslora y calan 12 metros.These boats are 300 meters in length and have a 12-meter draft.
c. to have a draught (United Kingdom)
Las barcazas calan poco.Barges have a very shallow draught.
An adjective is a word that describes a noun (e.g. the big dog).
12. (containing lime)
a. limestone (noun)
Este tipo de planta se encuentra en zonas calares.This type of plant is found in limestone areas.
b. calcareous
A word or phrase used to refer to the second person formal “usted” by their conjugation or implied context (e.g. usted).
El suelo calar favorece el crecimiento de árboles frutales.Calcareous soil is good for growing fruit trees.
c. chalky
El suelo calar de aquí es ideal para las viñas.The chalky soil here is ideal for vines.
A pronominal verb always uses a reflexive pronoun. (e.g. Te ves cansado.).
pronominal verb
13. (to get wet)
a. to get soaked
A pesar de que llevaba paraguas, Lorena se caló.Even though she had an umbrella, Lorena got soaked.
b. to get drenched
Era imposible no calarse durante esa fuerte tormenta.It was impossible not to get drenched during that severe storm.
14. (to adjust)
a. to pull down
Michelle se caló el gorro hasta cubrirse las orejas.Michelle pulled her hat down until it covered her ears.
15. (to pull on)
a. to put on
Juan se caló sus nuevos lentes y se miró en el espejo.Juan put on his new glasses and looked at himself in the mirror.
16. (to stop)
Regionalism used in Spain
a. to stall
Íbamos casi llegando a la escuela cuando el auto se caló.We'd almost reached school when the car stalled.
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A transitive verb is a verb that requires a direct object (e.g. I bought a book.).
transitive verb
1. (empapar)
a. to soak
2. (adivinar)
a. to see through
b. to suss out (United Kingdom)
3. (gorro, sombrero)
a. to jam on
4. (fruta)
a. to cut a sample of
5. (perforar)
a. to perforate, to pierce
An intransitive verb is one that does not require a direct object (e.g. The man sneezed.).
intransitive verb
6. (nautical)
a. to draw
7. (ser permeable)
estos zapatos calanthese shoes let in water
8. (fig)
calar hondo ento have a great impact on
A pronominal verb always uses a reflexive pronoun. (e.g. Te ves cansado.).
pronominal verb
9. (empaparse)
a. to get soaked
10. (motor)
Regionalism used in Spain
a. to stall
calcareous (formal); lime
limestone quarry
transitive verb
1 [+líquido, lluvia, humedad] to soak (through)
la lluvia me caló la ropa the rain soaked o drenched my clothes
esta fina lluvia te cala
calar a algn (hasta) los huesos to cut sb (through) to the bone; un frío y una humedad que calan los huesos cold and damp that cut through to the bone
una humedad que me calaba hasta los huesos
2 (percatar) to suss (out) (familiar)
lo calé nada más conocerlo I had him sussed as soon as I'd met him (familiar); ¡nos ha calado! he's sussed o rumbled us! (familiar); we've been sussed o rumbled! (familiar)
3 (Técnica) [+metal, madera] to fret
sierra de calar fret saw
4 [+bayoneta] to fix
5 [+mástil] to fix; fit; [+vela] to lower; [+red] to cast
el buque cala 12 metros the ship draws 12 metres; the ship has a draught of 12 metres
6 (And) (aplastar) to crush; flatten; (humillar) to humiliate
intransitive verb
esa moda no caló en España that fashion did not take on o catch on in Spain; su defensa caló en el jurado the arguments in his defence got through to the jury; una ideología que está calando en la sociedad an ideology that is catching on in society; esta opinión ha calado entre la población this opinion has taken deep root among the public
la medicina preventiva ha calado entre los dentistas
su mensaje caló hondo en nuestra generación her message had a deep effect o made a deep impression on our generation
pronominal verb
1 (mojarse) to get soaked; get drenched
me calé hasta los huesos I got soaked to the skin
2 [+material, ropa] to let water in; get wet; [+zapatos] to let water in
esos zapatos se calan those shoes will let water in as soon as it rains
la lona de la tienda se calaba este chubasquero no se cala
3 [+motor, vehículo] to stall
se le caló el coche his car stalled
4 [+sombrero, gorra] to pull down; [+gafas, careta] to put on
se caló el sombrero hasta la frente he pulled his hat down over his forehead
Collins Complete Spanish Electronic Dictionary © HarperCollins Publishers 2011
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