Definition of callus in English:


(also callous)


  • 1A thickened and hardened part of the skin or soft tissue, especially in an area that has been subjected to friction.

    • ‘His hair was greasy and stringy, and his skin had developed brown callouses.’
    • ‘According to them, the genome of the ostrich has the ability to let the skin form calluses when the skin is abraded.’
    • ‘So it's no wonder our hands and feet sometimes complain in the form of dry, itchy skin or calluses.’
    • ‘His blisters had long since burst and formed calluses.’
    • ‘It is all there, like the scars and calluses on a farmer's hands.’
    • ‘Your hand reflects the amount of fluids currently in your body, as well as any calluses or wear and tear from the friction of throwing a bowling ball.’
    • ‘His hands are soft and have only mild calluses from playing guitar.’
    • ‘Blisters, calluses, and occasionally, ganglion cysts can be the result.’
    • ‘But Mrs Ruthven warns the fad could lead to corns, bunions, calluses, claw toes, hammer toes - even arthritis and lower back problems.’
    • ‘They were larger hands, with crisscrossing scars and calluses that she had never noticed.’
    • ‘Achmed's feet were like cracked rocks, impervious to heat and cuts; ours were soft and, as the heat crept up on us, we began to develop calluses and, more dangerously, blisters.’
    • ‘His hands were thin, with long fingers unmarked by callouses, and his skin was too white to have been too often outside.’
    • ‘Observing the affected knee may reveal dystrophic changes, alteration of skin color, calluses related to kneeling or occupational abuse of the knee, scars, scratches, or rashes.’
    • ‘The footwell was perpetually swamped now, my forearms were pumped from choking the oars in a death grip, and dime-size blisters had begun to well up under the calluses on my palms.’
    • ‘As well as contributing to bunions, claw toes, calluses and blisters, wearing high-heeled shoes is linked to back pain and osteoarthritis of the knee.’
    • ‘Then his fingers are under my chin and I can feel the tough spots of a couple calluses rub against my skin as he tilts my face up.’
    • ‘She had a happy family life until the calluses started appearing on her skin three years after her marriage.’
    • ‘In these areas, the skin often thickens into a callus, which when excessive can lead to an ulcer.’
    • ‘By choosing appropriate footwear and keeping feet free of blisters, calluses and corns, we increase the body's general well being.’
    • ‘Clara was amazed at the feel of his hand; it had calluses and scars that Clara knew he wouldn't have gotten thieving.’
    1. 1.1Medicine The bony healing tissue which forms around the ends of broken bone.
      • ‘In the course of time, the callus is smoothed off and eventually the bone returns to its normal thickness.’
      • ‘Two cases were consistent with fracture callus based on the history of fall and injury to the spine and based on review of the concurrent cell block, which helped in making a definitive diagnosis.’
      • ‘It normally takes one to two weeks for a callus to form, then about six weeks for the bone fragments to unite.’
    2. 1.2Botany A hard formation of tissue, especially new tissue formed over a wound.
      mass noun ‘the exposed surface will quickly form healing callus’
      • ‘Furthermore, it was also observed that the callus formed from the radicle grew faster than the callus of plumule origin, thus reducing the formation of embryogenic callus.’
      • ‘When a plant is injured, it develops a callous over the wound as protection.’
      • ‘On each sampling date, the calluses were submerged in liquid nitrogen, freeze-dried and stored at - 20°C.’
      • ‘When a patch of bark is removed from a tree the wound is healed by the formation of a callus which differentiates into periderm.’
      • ‘The present paper describes the formation of surface callus on stem wounds of lime trees as observed by light and electron microscopy.’


Mid 16th century: from Latin callus (more commonly callum) ‘hardened skin’.