See more synonyms for callous on
  1. made hard; hardened.
  2. insensitive; indifferent; unsympathetic: They have a callous attitude toward the sufferings of others.
  3. having a callus; indurated, as parts of the skin exposed to friction.
verb (used with or without object)
  1. to make or become hard or callous.

Origin of callous

1375–1425; late Middle English < Latin callōsus hard-skinned, tough, equivalent to call(um) tough skin, any hard substance + -ōsus -ous
Related formscal·lous·ly, adverbcal·lous·ness, nounun·cal·lous, adjectiveun·cal·lous·ly, adverbun·cal·lous·ness, noun
Can be confusedcallous callus

Synonyms for callous

See more synonyms for on
1. hard. 2. inured, insensible, obtuse. See hard.

Antonyms for callous

1. soft. 2. sensitive. Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

Examples from the Web for calloused

Contemporary Examples of calloused

Historical Examples of calloused

  • 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.

  • 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

British Dictionary definitions for calloused


  1. unfeeling; insensitive
  2. (of skin) hardened and thickened
  1. pathol to make or become callous
Derived Formscallously, adverbcallousness, noun

Word Origin for callous

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

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

calloused in Medicine


  1. 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.