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callow

Syllabification: cal·low
Pronunciation: /ˈkalō
 
/

Definition of callow in English:

adjective

(Especially of a young person) inexperienced and immature: earnest and callow undergraduates
More example sentences
  • Sending off a bunch of callow lads because a few opinion-formers safely over conscription age thought it was a good idea and might secure the next election would have been outrageous.
  • A callow president had the sense to surround himself with people who had three great virtues.
  • He finds a way for us to root for the callow man, and even root for Martha and him to find happiness any way they can.
Synonyms

Origin

Old English calu 'bald'; probably from Latin calvus 'bald'. This was extended to mean 'unfledged', which led to the present sense 'immature'.

More
  • You would not think of a callow youth as someone who was bald, but that is what Old English calu meant. A later use referred to young birds and meant ‘not yet able to fly, unfledged’. The idea of fluffy young birds must have put people in mind of the down on a youth's cheek and chin, which led to the present sense ‘immature or inexperienced’.

Derivatives

callowly

1
adverb
Example sentences
  • It begins by evoking the glamorous life of a young woman who lives happily if callowly in a cocoon of utter fabulousness.
  • He smiled and callowly looked down for a moment.
  • It was my first encounter with a particular kind of reality, which my religion, my upbringing, and the callowly romantic cast of my mind had declared obscene.

callowness

2
noun
Example sentences
  • Patch Darragh has an aw-shucks quality that does fine at capturing Romeo's callowness and naïveté.
  • The callowness now on display goes a long way toward explaining why politicians and the media are held in public esteem somewhere above child molesters and below bankers.
  • To overcome the obvious disadvantages of such callowness, standout toughness or really remarkable talent are required.

Words that rhyme with callow

aloe, fallow, hallow, mallow, marshmallow, sallow, shallow, tallow

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