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 bet 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

n an area of skin that is thick or hard from continual pressure or friction (as the sole of the foot)

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:
abnormal hardening or thickening of tissue

n bony tissue formed during the healing of a fractured bone

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

n (botany) an isolated thickening of tissue, especially a stiff protuberance on the lip of an orchid

Type of:
enation, plant process
a natural projection or outgrowth from a plant body or organ

v cause a callus to form on

“The long march had callused his feet”
Type of:
harden, indurate
make hard or harder

v form a callus or calluses

“His foot callused
Type of:
harden, indurate
become hard or harder

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