Why was clemency trending last week?


[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 callously
  • And when they or their family members have complained, their pleas for help have been callously ignored.
  • Insiders who were deemed a security risk were callously murdered.
  • He can be callously murderous either with a gun or with his fists.
  • It may sound callously brutal, but it might result in less flooding and misery in the future.
  • They were warned about the fatal consequences of this decades ago, but callously chose to do nothing.
  • Males of egg breeds have value as meat birds, and need not be callously discarded as chicks.
  • It is no surprise that the press often treats people callously.
  • His tax cuts were irresponsible and callously regressive, but they didn't play a significant role in the housing bubble.
  • Nationwide, prisons and jails are teeming with persons who have callously victimized our citizens.
  • Mine operators who callously put their workers in harm's way must be held accountable.
British Dictionary definitions for callously


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 callously



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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callously 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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