Literally, a callow creature, like a baby bird, hasn't grown any feathers yet.
Figuratively, someone or something callow doesn't have experience or doesn't have maturity.
Part of speech:
(Adjectives are describing words, like “large” or “late.”
They can be used in two ways:
1. Right before a noun, as in "their callow thinking.”
2. After a linking verb, as in "Their thinking was callow.”)
How to use it:
Calling someone or something "callow" can be a harsh criticism or a gentle observation, depending on your tone.
Talk about a callow person (like a callow college freshman, a callow athlete, a callow salesperson, etc.); a callow suggestion, a callow solution, or a callow idea; callow thinking or a callow point of view; callow arguments or callow rhetoric; callow idealism, callow optimism, or callow expectations; a callow product, such as a callow work of art or a callow record, and so on. You might occasionally need a harsh phrase like "callow ignorance," "callow stupidity," "a callow lack of foresight," etc.
"Callow youth" is a common phrase, maybe even a cliché. Personally I avoid it, but I won't make a strong recommendation that you do the same.
You could emphasize the word's literal meaning of "bald, featherless" by talking figuratively about "callow flights," "callow tweets," "a callow reluctance to leave the nest," etc.
Homelessness first came to my attention when I was a callow sixth grader vacationing with my family in San Francisco. I went home and wrote about it in my journal, coming up with one callow solution after another that would, I imagined, end homelessness across the globe.
We have a friend with a callow grasp of negotiation who once, unfortunately, paid the sticker price on a car and even agreed to a high interest rate on the loan for it.
Look away from the screen to explain the definition in your own words. You’ll know you understand what "callow" means when you can explain it without saying "immature" or "lacking worldly wisdom."
Think of someone you know who seemed wise even at a young age, and fill in the blanks: "(Person) was never a callow (child/teenager/young adult/student;) he/she (said or did something particularly wise or mature.)"
Example: "Mom was never a callow child; she was always coming up with ideas to earn money and, if I'm remembering this right, she once had an egg delivery route."
Spend at least 20 seconds occupying your mind with the game and quote below. Then try the review questions. Don’t go straight to the review now—let your working memory empty out first.
Playing With Words:
This month, we're playing New Word Order! It's a card game that I recently created; it involves figuring out the order in which certain words and phrases entered our language. I'll give you several words and/or phrases, and you'll use your knowledge of history, slang, technology, popular culture, fashion, psychology, etc. to put them into chronological order. I'll post the right answer to each question on the following day. If you like this game, you can download and print it to play with your family and friends. (It's free.)
Plug-and-play, self-motivating, & line dance.
Remember, you don't need to come up with the actual years--just try to get the words in the correct time order.
Try these today:
Jet lag, Skype, & wackadoodle.
A Point Well Made:
John Keats: "Nothing is finer for the purposes of great productions than a very gradual ripening of the intellectual powers."
1. One opposite of CALLOW is
2. She still has the callow _____ of _____.
A. vigor .. a veteran athlete
B. glamour .. a runway model
C. confidence .. a recent college graduate
Answers are below.
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Make Your Point is crafted with love and brought to you each day for free by Mrs. Liesl Johnson, M.Ed., a word lover, learning enthusiast, and private tutor of reading and writing in the verdant little town of Hilo, Hawaii. For writing tips, online learning, essay guidance, and more, please visit www.HiloTutor.com.
Disclaimer: Word meanings presented here are expressed in plain language and are limited to common, useful applications only. Readers interested in authoritative and multiple definitions of words are encouraged to check a dictionary. Likewise, word meanings, usage, and pronunciations are limited to American English; these elements may vary across world Englishes.
Today we're looking at "callow," meaning lacking maturity and lacking experience, like a bald baby bird that has never flown.
Could you recall a good opposite for "callow"? It starts with "j" and it means "having experienced so much that you're tired of everything, you're impressed by nothing, and you just don't care anymore." Here it is if you'd like to check. Fun fact: it's also the title of an awesome song by Aerosmith.