Callous refers to showing or having an insensitive and cruel disregard for others’ feelings. It can describe someone who is emotionally hardened or unfeeling towards the suffering of others.


US English

UK English

Part of Speech



insensitive, unfeeling, heartless, uncaring, unsympathetic, pitiless, cold-blooded, cruel, indifferent, inhuman, ruthless.


sensitive, caring, compassionate, sympathetic, tender, warm-hearted, responsive, kind-hearted, considerate, gentle, loving.

Word Forms

Part of Speech Words
Noun callousnesses, callosities, callosity, callousness
Verb callouses, calloused, callous, callousing
Adjective callous
Adverb callously

Example Sentences

  • The teenager’s callous behavior towards his elderly neighbor shocked everyone in the community.

  • The CEO’s callous decision to lay off hundreds of workers without any notice was widely condemned.

  • The politician’s callous remarks about the plight of refugees showed his complete lack of empathy.

  • The coach’s callous treatment of the athletes, pushing them beyond their physical and mental limits, led to several injuries.


The word ‘callous’ is commonly used to describe someone who is lacking in empathy, compassion or sensitivity towards others. It is often used to describe people who seem to be emotionally hardened or indifferent to the suffering of others.

The word callous is derived from the Latin word ‘callosus’, which means “thick-skinned”. The suffix ‘-ous’ means “full of” or “having the qualities of”. In this case, it refers to a person who has a skin that is so thick that he or she is unable to feel or perceive the emotions of others.

There are a number of prefixes and suffixes that can be added to the root word ‘callous’ to create variations of the word. For example, the prefix ‘un-’ can be added to create the word ‘uncallous’, which means to be more sensitive or empathetic towards others. The suffix ‘-ness’ can be added to create the word ‘callousness’, which refers to the quality or state of being callous.

The word callous is often used in discussions about topics such as bullying, abuse, and social injustices. It is also used to describe people who exhibit a lack of empathy towards animals, as well as those who are indifferent towards the environment.

In conclusion, the word ‘callous’ is commonly used to describe someone who is emotionally hardened, insensitive or indifferent towards others. It is a powerful word that describes those who are unable to feel the emotions of others and exhibit a lack of concern for their well-being.