"the art of beautiful writing, elegant penmanship," 1610s, from Latinized form of Greek kaligraphia, from kallos "beauty" (see Callisto) + graphein "to write" (see -graphy). Related: Calligrapher; calligraphic.
in classical mythology a nymph, mother of Arcas by Zeus, turned to a bear by Hera, from Greek kallistos, superlative of kalos "beautiful, beauteous, noble, good," and its derived noun kallos "beauty," from *kal-wo-, which is of uncertain origin, perhaps related to Sanskrit kalyana "beautiful." The usual combining form in Greek was kalli- "beautiful, fine, happy, favorable;" kalo- was a later, rarer alternative form. Also a name given to the fourth moon of Jupiter in 17c. but not widely used before mid-19c. Feminized as a proper name as Callista.
word-forming element meaning "process of writing or recording" or "a writing, recording, or description" (in modern use especially in forming names of descriptive sciences), from French or German -graphie, from Greek -graphia "description of," used in abstract nouns from graphein "write, express by written characters," earlier "to draw, represent by lines drawn," originally "to scrape, scratch" (on clay tablets with a stylus), from PIE root *gerbh- "to scratch, carve" (see carve).