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90s Slang You Should Know


[kal-uh s] /ˈkæl əs/
made hard; hardened.
insensitive; indifferent; unsympathetic:
They have a callous attitude toward the sufferings of others.
having a callus; indurated, as parts of the skin exposed to friction.
verb (used with or without object)
to make or become hard or callous.
Origin of callous
late Middle English
1375-1425; late Middle English < Latin callōsus hard-skinned, tough, equivalent to call(um) tough skin, any hard substance + -ōsus -ous
Related forms
callously, adverb
callousness, noun
uncallous, adjective
uncallously, adverb
uncallousness, noun
Can be confused
callous, callus.
1. hard. 2. inured, insensible, obtuse. See hard.
1. soft. 2. sensitive. Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2017.
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Examples from the Web for calloused
Contemporary Examples
Historical Examples
  • Neither combatant said a word, the rasp of their calloused feet on the sand the only sound.

    Planet of the Damned Harry Harrison
  • Jacovik turned his hands over and looked at the calloused palms.

    The Destroyers Gordon Randall Garrett
  • Drew's hard, calloused hands closed on the back of the pew ahead.

    Ride Proud, Rebel! Andre Alice Norton
  • "Luck," Brion said, and shook the technician's calloused hand.

    Planet of the Damned Harry Harrison
  • Sam turned his foot over, looked critically at the calloused sole of it, turned it back again and blew a mouthful of smoke.

    Rim o' the World B. M. Bower
  • I mean by that, it was soft and well kept—not hard and calloused.

    Boy Scouts in the North Sea G. Harvey Ralphson
  • Were they merely kept in temporary abeyance, or even only calloused, it would not be a matter of so much moment.

British Dictionary definitions for calloused


unfeeling; insensitive
(of skin) hardened and thickened
(pathol) to make or become callous
Derived Forms
callously, adverb
callousness, noun
Word Origin
C16: from Latin callōsus; see callus
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition
© William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012
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Word Origin and History for calloused



c.1400, "hardened," in the physical sense, from Latin callosus "thick-skinned," from callus, callum "hard skin" (see callus). The figurative sense of "unfeeling" appeared in English by 1670s. Related: Callously; callousness.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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calloused in Medicine

callous cal·lous (kāl'əs)
Of, relating to, or characteristic of a callus or callosity.

The American Heritage® Stedman's Medical Dictionary
Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company.
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