[ kal-uhs ]
See synonyms for callus on
noun,plural cal·lus·es.
  1. Pathology, Physiology.

    • a hardened or thickened part of the skin; a callosity.

    • a new growth of osseous matter at the ends of a fractured bone, serving to unite them.

  2. Also callose. Botany.

    • the tissue that forms over the wounds of plants, protecting the inner tissues and causing healing.

    • a deposit on the perforated area of a sieve tube.

    • (in grasses) a tough swelling at the base of a lemma or palea.

verb (used without object),cal·lused, cal·lus·ing.
  1. to form a callus.

verb (used with object),cal·lused, cal·lus·ing.
  1. to produce a callus or calluses on: Heavy work callused his hands.

Origin of callus

1555–65; <Latin callus, masculine variant of callum;see callous

Other words from callus

  • un·cal·lused, adjective

Words that may be confused with callus Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2023

How to use callus in a sentence

  • Calluses [that were] painful when he danced … and a bad fungus that was all over his feet and into his flesh.

    The Fight Over Jackson's Health | Diane Dimond | October 12, 2011 | THE DAILY BEAST
  • As I lay there, eyes closed, half awake, I rubbed my elbows with my palms and found that I was rubbing prodigious calluses.

  • He rubbed his chin again, his hard calluses grating over his whiskers.

  • But then he took her hand and felt its fine warmth, the calluses he remembered from all those months ago, and he felt better.

    Makers | Cory Doctorow
  • The lower end calluses or heals, and the roots form more readily when the cutting is planted in the spring.

British Dictionary definitions for callus


/ (ˈkæləs) /

nounplural -luses
  1. Also called: callosity an area of skin that is hard or thick, esp on the palm of the hand or sole of the foot, as from continual friction or pressure

  2. an area of bony tissue formed during the healing of a fractured bone

  1. botany

    • a mass of hard protective tissue produced in woody plants at the site of an injury

    • an accumulation of callose in the sieve tubes

  2. biotechnology a mass of undifferentiated cells produced as the first stage in tissue culture

  1. to produce or cause to produce a callus

Origin of callus

C16: from Latin, variant of callum hardened skin

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

Scientific definitions for callus


[ kăləs ]

  1. An area of the skin that has become hardened and thick, usually because of prolonged pressure or rubbing.

  2. The hard bony tissue that develops around the ends of a fractured bone during healing.

The American Heritage® Science Dictionary Copyright © 2011. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.