callousness

Callousness is the characteristic of being insensitive or hardhearted about other people's feelings. Your sister's callousness is clear when she tells you that your new haircut looks awful.

A callus, sometimes spelled callous, is a very hard, thick layer of skin that's usually found on the bottoms of your feet. When you act in a callous way, or exhibit your callousness, you could say you're "emotionally hardened." As early as 1670, this figurative meaning of callous was added to the literal definition. And callousness is a great word for the trait of being hardened against feeling empathy.

Definitions of callousness
  1. noun
    the trait of being devoid of passion or feeling; hardheartedness
    synonyms: callosity, hardness, insensibility, unfeelingness
    see moresee less
    types:
    dullness
    lack of sensibility
    type of:
    insensitiveness, insensitivity
    the inability to respond to affective changes in your interpersonal environment
Word Family
EDITOR’S CHOICE

Test prep from the experts

Boost your test score with programs developed by Vocabulary.com’s experts.

  • Proven methods: Learn faster, remember longer with our scientific approach.
  • Personalized plan: We customize your experience to maximize your learning.
  • Strategic studying: Focus on the words that are most crucial for success.

SAT/PSAT

$29.95
  • Number of words: 500+
  • Duration: 8 weeks or less
  • Time: 1 hour / week

TOEFL

$29.95
  • Number of words: 500+
  • Duration: 10 weeks or less
  • Time: 1 hour / week