Try Our Apps


Words You've Been Using Wrong


[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. 2018.
Cite This Source
Examples from the Web for calloused
Contemporary Examples
Historical Examples
  • They were worn, and had calloused stains and ill-kept nails.

    The Prisoner Alice Brown
  • Even her hands, reddened and calloused by labor, were well kept and shapely.

    They of the High Trails

    Hamlin Garland
  • He had noticed that Joe's hands were rather rough and calloused.

    Torchy As A Pa Sewell Ford
  • Jacovik turned his hands over and looked at the calloused palms.

    The Destroyers Gordon Randall Garrett
  • His fingers were calloused and no current could pass through them.

    Electricity for the farm Frederick Irving Anderson
  • "Luck," Brion said, and shook the technician's calloused hand.

    Planet of the Damned Harry Harrison
  • Could they be any more prevalent than they are now,—bearable only because we are calloused to them?

    Monopolies and the People Charles Whiting Baker
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
Cite This Source
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
Cite This Source
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.
Cite This Source

Word of the Day

Nearby words for calloused

Word Value for calloused

Scrabble Words With Friends