A callous person is insensitive or emotionally hardened. If you laugh at your little sister while she's trying to show you her poetry, you're being callous.

Callous comes from the Latin root callum for hard skin. If you walk barefoot a lot, your feet will become calloused. We often use callous, as an adjective or a verb, in the metaphorical sense for emotionally hardened. If someone is unmoved by other people's problems, you might say he shows a callous indifference to human suffering or that his heart has been calloused by his own problems.

Definitions of callous

adj emotionally hardened

“a callous indifference to suffering”
indurate, pachydermatous
deficient in human sensibility; not mentally or morally sensitive

adj having calluses; having skin made tough and thick through wear

calloused skin”
“with a workman's callous hands”
calloused, thickened
tough, toughened
physically toughened

v make insensitive or callous; deaden feelings or morals

cauterise, cauterize
Type of:
harden, indurate, inure
cause to accept or become hardened to; habituate

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