Definitions

from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 5th Edition.

  • adjective Having calluses; toughened.
  • adjective Emotionally hardened; unfeeling.
  • transitive & intransitive verb To make or become callous.

from The Century Dictionary.

  • Hard; hardened; indurated, as an ulcer, or the skin on some part of the body from exposure to continuous pressure or friction: as, “a callous cicatrice,” ; “a callous ulcer,”
  • Hardened in mind or feelings; insensible; unfeeling: as, “the callous diplomatist,”
  • In entomology, swollen and smooth: as, a callous margin, one very thick and irregularly rounded or lumpy. Synonyms
  • To harden or make callous.

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English.

  • adjective Hardened; indurated.
  • adjective Hardened in mind; insensible; unfeeling; unsusceptible.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License.

  • adjective Emotionally hardened; unfeeling and indifferent to the suffering/feelings of others.
  • adjective Having calluses.

from WordNet 3.0 Copyright 2006 by Princeton University. All rights reserved.

  • adjective having calluses; having skin made tough and thick through wear
  • adjective emotionally hardened
  • verb make insensitive or callous; deaden feelings or morals

Etymologies

from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 4th Edition

[Middle English, from Old French cailleux, from Latin callōsus, from callum, hard skin.]

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

From Latin callōsus ("hard-skinned"), from callum ("hardened skin") + -ōsus.

Examples

  • State Department spokesman Mark Toner says Gbagbo's continued efforts to force a result that he could not obtain at the ballot box show what he calls a "callous disregard for the welfare of the Ivorian people, who will again suffer amid renewed heavy fighting in Abidjan."

    Gbagbo Forces Deny Attacking UN, Ouattara Compound

  • State Department spokesman Mark Toner says Gbagbo's continued efforts to force a result that he could not obtain at the ballot box show what he calls a "callous disregard for the welfare of the Ivorian people, who will again suffer amid renewed heavy fighting in Abidjan."

    Gbagbo Forces Deny Attacking UN, Ouattara Compound

  • The summit also strongly condemned what it called a callous attack on the United Nations refugee camp at Gatumba on Friday in which about 160 people were killed.

    ANC Daily News Briefing

  • The South African Society of Journalists on Thursday condemned what it described as the callous attitude of the Argus Company in offering its Sunday Star staff one of "the worst termination packages seen in the industry in years".

    ANC Daily News Briefing

  • A handful of people seated in a campus auditorium on Wednesday assailed Gingrich for what they called a "callous attitude toward poor people."

    The Seattle Times

  • A handful of people seated in a campus auditorium on Wednesday assailed Gingrich for what they called a "callous attitude toward poor people."

    StarTribune.com rss feed

  • A handful of protesters drowned him out for at least three minutes, assailing Gingrich for what they called a "callous attitude toward poor people."

    Yahoo! News: Business - Opinion

  • A handful of protesters drowned him out for at least three minutes, assailing Gingrich for what they called a "callous attitude toward poor people."

    Yahoo! News: Business - Opinion

  • Van Hollen criticized House Speaker John Boehner for what he described as a "callous" attitude toward the prospect of American job loss in the face of budget cuts, and argued that Republicans were taking the "wrong approach" toward mending the economy.

    Breaking News: CBS News

  • Van Hollen criticized House Speaker John Boehner for what he described as a "callous" attitude toward the prospect of American job loss in the face of budget cuts, and argued that Republicans were taking the "wrong approach" toward mending the economy.

    Breaking News: CBS News

Comments

New comments are temporarily disabled while we update our database.

  • "USAGE NOTE: Do not confuse the adjective callous, as in Years of dealing with criminals had left her callous, with the noun callus, as in I have a callus on my thumb. The verbs callous and callus mean respectively 'to make or become callous' and 'to form or develop hardened tissue.'"

    --The American Heritage Dictionary

    September 17, 2010