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2017 Word of the Year

callow

[kal-oh] /ˈkæl oʊ/
adjective
1.
immature or inexperienced:
a callow youth.
2.
(of a young bird) featherless; unfledged.
noun
3.
a recently hatched worker ant.
Origin of callow
1000
before 1000; Middle English, Old English calu bald; cognate with Dutch kaal, German kahl bald, OCS golŭ bare
Related forms
callowness, noun
Synonyms
1. untried, green, raw; naive, puerile, jejune.
Antonyms
1. mature, adult, experienced.
Dictionary.com Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2017.
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Examples from the Web for callow
Contemporary Examples
Historical Examples
  • The 87 Medium, who is at first indifferent, finally warns her callow child.

    The Book of Khalid Ameen Rihani
  • "There speaks your callow inexperience," said he, with a pitying smile.

    The Tavern Knight Rafael Sabatini
  • But even in those days as a callow, trusting youth, he'd been smarter than Boswell.

    Zero Data Charles Saphro
  • With bird nicknames may be mentioned callow, unfledged, cognate with Lat.

    The Romance of Names

    Ernest Weekley
  • Culpepper sprang, a flash of green, straight at the callow boy.

    Privy Seal Ford Madox Ford
British Dictionary definitions for callow

callow

/ˈkæləʊ/
adjective
1.
lacking experience of life; immature
2.
(rare) (of a young bird) unfledged and usually lacking feathers
Derived Forms
callowness, noun
Word Origin
Old English calu; related to Old High German kalo, Old Slavonic golú bare, naked, Lithuanian galva head, Latin calvus bald

Callow

/ˈkæləʊ/
noun
1.
Simon. born 1949, British actor and theatre director
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition
© William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012
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Word Origin and History for callow
adj.

Old English calu "bare, bald," probably from West Germanic *kalwaz (cf. Middle Dutch calu, Dutch kaal, Old High German kalo, German Kahl), perhaps from Latin or Celtic. From young birds with no feathers, meaning extended to any young inexperienced thing or creature (1570s). Apparently not from Latin calvus "bald."

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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Word Value for callow

11
14
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