ap·​a·​thet·​ic | \ ˌa-pə-ˈthe-tik How to pronounce apathetic (audio) \

Definition of apathetic

: affected by, characterized by, or displaying apathy : having or showing little or no interest, concern, or emotion apathetic voters apathetic indifference an apathetic attitude/response It's really easy to feel apathetic about politics and forget how much they affect our daily lives.— Emily Shwake NFL fans and media members are mostly apathetic toward the exhibition games.— Henry McKenna Even with Doppler radar and networks of spotters, many residents of Tornado Alley are surprisingly apathetic.— Warren Faidley She was listless, apathetic, calm with the calmness of a woman who knows she can suffer no further.— Frank Norris Children or teens who are … depressed and apathetic— Victoria L. Dunckley People with abnormally low levels of thyroid hormones (hypothyroidism) are often listless and apathetic; in fact, the symptoms may look very much like endogenous depression.— Lester Grinspoon et al. … there is no emotion and she remains apathetic to all around her.leitrimobserver.ie

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Other Words from apathetic

apathetically \ ˌa-​pə-​ˈthe-​ti-​k(ə-​)lē How to pronounce apathetic (audio) \ adverb

Choose the Right Synonym for apathetic

impassive, stoic, phlegmatic, apathetic, stolid mean unresponsive to something that might normally excite interest or emotion. impassive stresses the absence of any external sign of emotion in action or facial expression. met the news with an impassive look stoic implies an apparent indifference to pleasure or especially to pain often as a matter of principle or self-discipline. was resolutely stoic even in adversity phlegmatic implies a temperament or constitution hard to arouse. a phlegmatic man unmoved by tears apathetic may imply a puzzling or deplorable indifference or inertness. charitable appeals met an apathetic response stolid implies a habitual absence of interest, responsiveness, or curiosity. stolid workers wedded to routine

Discover if You're Apathetic

Apathy, or lack of emotion, is central to Albert Camus's famous novel The Stranger, in which the main character's indifference toward almost everything, including his mother's death, results in his imprisonment. We feel little sympathy for him, and may even feel antipathy, or dislike. The American voter is often called apathetic; of all the industrial democracies, only in America does half the adult population fail to vote in major elections. As you can see, apathetic isn't the opposite of pathetic, even though the a- that it begins with means "not" or "without".

Examples of apathetic in a Sentence

But contrary to popular belief, not all jocks are as apathetic as they are athletic. One such progressive player is Toni Smith, a college basketball player who turned her back on Old Glory every time the national anthem was played before her games last season. In a written statement, she cited America's systemic inequalities as her reason for not saluting the flag. Complex, June/July 2003 The disorder is sometimes inherited via a defective gene from one parent, and patients are usually spared signs of the disorder until they reach their fifties. Because the brain-cell loss occurs in parts of the brain that help regulate social behavior, personality changes are the most common manifestations of the illness. Patients tend to become either uninhibited or apathetic. — Bruce L. Miller, Discover, January 1998 But in cities such as Boston, Cincinnati, Oakland, San Francisco, and Seattle, reformers are trying to recharge an apathetic electorate by taking aim at the very process of voting itself. — Wilma Rule et al., Ms., September/October 1996 Young people are becoming increasingly apathetic. the apathetic attitude of the public Surprisingly, most Americans are apathetic toward this important issue.
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Recent Examples on the Web The track is all about apathetic partners who aren't worth your time, but in the video, Billie is too busy hanging with her ladies in some SKIMS to even care. Carolyn Twersky, Seventeen, 2 June 2021 In promotional videos and local-news segments about companion technology, apathetic-looking old people are shown seeming suddenly enlivened by the arrival of an adorable machine. Katie Engelhart, The New Yorker, 24 May 2021 Before pulling away in the second half for a convincing win Saturday over the league-worst Rockets, the Warriors looked apathetic. Connor Letourneau, San Francisco Chronicle, 3 May 2021 The monkeys became apathetic and lost dexterity, Edwards said. USA Today, 25 Apr. 2021 But such change is more difficult on a state and local level, where politicians are cemented in place and many residents are apathetic. Gromer Jeffers Jr., Dallas News, 26 Apr. 2021 For one thing, Bolsonaro’s administration is notoriously apathetic or outright hostile to conservation efforts. Andre Pagliarini, The New Republic, 23 Apr. 2021 When Hawking was, by his own admission, an apathetic undergraduate at Oxford, cosmology was a drowsy discipline. Samanth Subramanian, The New Republic, 6 Apr. 2021 Active disease surveillance and prevention can blunt outbreaks, or at least stop health systems from becoming apathetic and dysfunctional when crises surface. New York Times, 31 Mar. 2021

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'apathetic.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

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First Known Use of apathetic

1692, in the meaning defined at sense 1

History and Etymology for apathetic

borrowed from New Latin apathēticus, from a- a- entry 2 + pathēticus pathetic, after apathīa apathy

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Time Traveler for apathetic

Time Traveler

The first known use of apathetic was in 1692

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Statistics for apathetic

Last Updated

9 Jun 2021

Cite this Entry

“Apathetic.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/apathetic. Accessed 16 Jun. 2021.

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More Definitions for apathetic



English Language Learners Definition of apathetic

: not having or showing much emotion or interest


ap·​a·​thet·​ic | \ ˌap-ə-ˈthet-ik How to pronounce apathetic (audio) \

Medical Definition of apathetic

: having or showing little or no feeling or emotion

Other Words from apathetic

apathetically \ -​i-​k(ə-​)lē How to pronounce apathetic (audio) \ adverb


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