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callous (adj) toughened; unfeeling.

When you do not care about other people's suffering, or feelings, you are callous. When you do not experience any sorrow or sympathy when others suffer, you are callous. Nurses and other hospital staff, used to sights of agony of patients daily over a long period are likely to become callous, that is, the sufferings of the patients may not cause any sorrow or sympathy in them, as daily sights of suffering may have hardened them to such sufferings.

  • The patient's relatives sued the hospital for damages on the ground that the callous attitude of the hospital staff made them ignore the patient's complaint of chest pain which ultimately led to his death.
  • The callous attitude of the prison authorities to the physical suffering and mental agony of the prisoners of war make the prisoners physical and mental wrecks.
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Last Modified : 11-May 2009
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