9 Grammatical Pitfalls


[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 object), verb (used 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. 2015.
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Examples from the web for calloused
  • He stood before her frowning and pulling at a calloused spot on the inside of his palm.
  • The cowboy's hands are rough, calloused, and rarely resting.
  • Sometimes the music is played on guitars picked with calloused fingers in juke joints tucked under the pine trees.
  • His calloused feet, broad and powerful, reminded me of a quarterback's shoulders.
  • For a moment she experiences the contact of two cold, calloused fingers.
  • He was a fine mason with fingers so calloused he could pick a piece of coal from the fire with his bare hands.
  • The other was old, dusky and calloused of countenance, and gave no sign of speech.
  • Everyone today who is well off is calloused, some more, some less.
  • His thick, calloused fingers move quickly down the guitar neck.
  • He caught my chin, wiped my tears with his calloused palm, its familiar roughness.
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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