Callow refers to an inexperienced, immature or immaturely developed individual, especially when referring to a young person or animal.


US English

UK English

Part of Speech



inexperienced, immature, naive, young, green, raw, unseasoned, adolescent, juvenile, budding.


Experienced, knowledgeable, mature, grown-up, seasoned, adult.

Word Forms

Part of Speech Words
Noun None
Verb None
Adjective callow
Adverb None

Example Sentences

  • The callow apprentice learned from his mistakes and gradually became a skilled artisan.

  • Despite his callow behavior, many people found the young actor’s performances endearing.

  • The callow chicks were too weak to fly and had to depend on their mother for protection and food.

  • Her callow attitude towards money management led her to make several disastrous financial decisions.


The adjective callow is commonly used to describe a person or animal that is immature, inexperienced or inexperienced in a particular area. It is often used to refer to young people who have yet to develop the necessary qualities or skills to deal with adult life, often implying that the individual is naive, unsophisticated, or has a lack of worldly experience.

The word callow can be traced back to its Latin root “calvus”, which means bald. This is because in Latin, the term was used to describe a young chick that had not yet grown feathers, and therefore appeared bald. Over time, the term evolved to take on the more general meaning of young and undeveloped, rather than just referring to an animal’s appearance.

While callow does not have any prefixes or suffixes, it is often paired with certain adverbs or prepositions to further clarify its meaning. For example, phrases such as “callow youth,” “callow behavior,” or “callow confidence” are commonly used in literature to describe an immature, inexperienced, or just plain naive individual. Additionally, callow can be used to describe someone who has not yet developed the necessary qualities for a particular profession or undertaking, such as a callow writer, musician or athlete.

It is important to note that being callow is not always a negative trait. While it often implies a lack of life experience or wisdom, it can also suggest youthfulness, innocence, and a willingness to learn. However, at the same time, it can also imply that there is plenty of room for growth and development in the individual, depending on how it is used in context.