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Syllabification: cal·lous
Pronunciation: /ˈkaləs

Definition of callous in English:


Showing or having an insensitive and cruel disregard for others: his callous comments about the murder made me shiver
More example sentences
  • But despite the ineluctable force of modernization it's surprising how strongly and deeply rooted this callous disregard for women is.
  • Sadly, there is big money in rare species, but this is a very cruel and callous type of crime, and one we are anxious to stamp out.
  • By defending his blundering ways, this self-serving little weasel shows callous disregard for that poor little girl.
heartless, unfeeling, uncaring, cold, cold-hearted, hard, as hard as nails, hard-hearted, insensitive, lacking compassion, hard-bitten, hard-nosed, hard-edged, unsympathetic


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variant spelling of callus.


late Middle English (in the Latin sense): from Latin callosus 'hard-skinned'.

  • The Latin source callosus means ‘hard-skinned’, and the word was originally used in this sense. The transference to ‘insensitive to others’ feelings', which happened in the late 17th century, has a parallel in thick-skinned. Callus (mid 16th century), for hardened skin, is from the same word.



Example sentences
  • These forces, which have benefited from the growth of terrorism, are today callously turning the phenomenon to their own political and ideological ends.
  • The women were separated and roughly tied up by intruders who then callously ransacked their home taking a sum of cash and a lifetime's collection of jewellery.
  • Even though no one can dispute that these individuals committed a callously vicious crime, I did however, lean towards providing them with a second chance.


Example sentences
  • The callousness and cruelty of these posters exposes them as abhorrent and cruel freaks who have no soul or compassion.
  • The sheer callousness of the cruelty is beyond belief.
  • The massacre was notorious because of its callousness and brutality.

Words that rhyme with callous

Callas, callus, Dallas, Pallas

Definition of callous in:

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Word of the day interfuse
Pronunciation: ɪntəˈfjuːz
join or mix (two or more things) together