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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
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. 2014.
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Examples from the web for callow
  • Nicklaus was enthralled the first time he played in the Masters in 1959 as a callow 19-year-old amateur.
  • I'm a bit more vehement and vociferous than when I was a callow youth of around 30.
  • Anyway, comments about my callow youthfulness or my "babbling" are more entertaining than anything else.
  • She finally returns to his arms, but then falls in love with his callow young secretary.
  • Mebus strives for naughty wryness, but winds up just sounding callow.
  • Seems the money-hungry merchant's underpaid, callow clerks dream of romance and adventure, too.
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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