callus

A callus is a spot where your skin becomes rough and thick. After wearing flip flops every day, all summer long, you'll probably have a callus between your toes.

If you get a blister from playing tennis or digging in the garden, it will eventually turn into a callus if you keep swinging your racquet or using your trowel. Any spot on your skin that's rubbed and irritated repeatedly becomes a callus, or a thickened patch of skin. In medicine, another kind of callus is the bony tissue that forms when a broken bone heals. Don't confuse callus with callous — which sounds the same but means "insensitive and cruel."

Definitions of callus
  1. noun
    an area of skin that is thick or hard from continual pressure or friction (as the sole of the foot)
    synonyms: callosity, callous
    see moresee less
    types:
    clavus, corn
    a hard thickening of the skin (especially on the top or sides of the toes) caused by the pressure of ill-fitting shoes
    type of:
    hardening
    abnormal hardening or thickening of tissue
  2. noun
    bony tissue formed during the healing of a fractured bone
    see moresee less
    types:
    chestnut
    a small horny callus on the inner surface of a horse's leg
    type of:
    cicatrice, cicatrix, scar
    a mark left (usually on the skin) by the healing of injured tissue
  3. noun
    (botany) an isolated thickening of tissue, especially a stiff protuberance on the lip of an orchid
    see moresee less
    type of:
    enation, plant process
    a natural projection or outgrowth from a plant body or organ
  4. verb
    cause a callus to form on
    “The long march had callused his feet”
    see moresee less
    type of:
    harden, indurate
    make hard or harder
  5. verb
    form a callus or calluses
    “His foot callused
    see moresee less
    type of:
    harden, indurate
    become hard or harder
Commonly confused words

callus / callous

These words sound the same, but they're not. A callus is a rough patch of skin. Add an o for "offensive" and you get callous, an adjective meaning "insensitive to the feelings of others."

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