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Denotation vs. Connotation

callous

[kal-uh s] /ˈkæl əs/
adjective
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 object), verb (used without object)
4.
to make or become hard or callous.
Origin of callous
late Middle English
1375-1425
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.
Synonyms
1. hard. 2. inured, insensible, obtuse. See hard.
Antonyms
1. soft. 2. sensitive.
Dictionary.com Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2015.
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Examples from the Web for callous
Contemporary Examples
Historical Examples
  • Or take the power of Caste in another direction—its callous cruelty.

    Things as They Are Amy Wilson-Carmichael
  • I think you will be able to take care of yourself in a cold and callous world.

  • We hope that, after this callous confession, Scotland Yard will now take action.

  • He was hardened, steeped in guilt, and callous as to the sufferings of others.

    Henry Dunbar M. E. Braddon
  • callous as the wretch was, Percival's emotion and his proposal struck Varney with a sentiment like compunction.

    Lucretia, Complete Edward Bulwer-Lytton
British Dictionary definitions for callous

callous

/ˈkæləs/
adjective
1.
unfeeling; insensitive
2.
(of skin) hardened and thickened
verb
3.
(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 callous
adj.

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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callous in Medicine

callous cal·lous (kāl'əs)
adj.
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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