apathetic

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

Definition of apathetic

1 : having or showing little or no feeling or emotion : spiritless She was listless, apathetic, calm with the calmness of a woman who knows she can suffer no further.— Frank Norris
2 : having little or no interest or concern : indifferent apathetic voters apathetic underachievers

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Other Words from apathetic

apathetically \ ˌa-​pə-​ˈthe-​ti-​k(ə-​)lē How to pronounce apathetically (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 first one takes place in 2008, following the fallout Marie faces after recanting her statement of being raped after being asked repeatedly by apathetic detectives. Gabe Bergado, Teen Vogue, ""Unbelievable" Actor Danielle Macdonald on How the Series Puts an Important Focus on Survivors of Trauma," 13 Sep. 2019 And, ultimately, Hong Kong’s supposedly apathetic local populace would accept its fate and get with the program. Ishaan Tharoor, Washington Post, "China can’t smash Hong Kong’s spirit," 12 June 2019 But Donald Trump’s message has been disappointingly confusing, if not altogether apathetic. Alexandra Ossola, Quartz, "With Trump silent, Canada and the EU urge de-escalation in Hong Kong," 18 Aug. 2019 Everything from your water to your gender identity is political, Cardenas says, urging people not to be apathetic. Hal Boedeker, orlandosentinel.com, "Pulse: Young LGBTQ+ leaders urge activism on tragic anniversary," 11 June 2019 The upscale part suffered from inconsistent food with no effort to break the apathetic pattern of rice and beans on the side. Mike Sutter, ExpressNews.com, "Review: Aldaco’s Mexican Cuisine restaurant is mid-level Mexican food in San Antonio’s Stone Oak," 22 Aug. 2019 Pair it with his apathetic facial expression for maximum impact. Caylin Harris, Country Living, "The Best 'The Office' Costumes That Will Definitely Win You a Dundie This Halloween," 22 Aug. 2019 Some were too frightened or apathetic or focused on simply surviving. Sonia Purnell, Twin Cities, "Sonia Purnell: What D-Day teaches us about the difficulty – and importance – of resistance," 6 June 2019 For starters, don’t take an apathetic approach to personal security. Kristina Libby, Popular Mechanics, "Giving Your FaceApp Selfie to Russians Is a Really Bad Idea," 17 July 2019

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

1892, in the meaning defined at sense 1

History and Etymology for apathetic

see apathy

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Dictionary Entries near apathetic

Apa Tani

apatetic

apatheia

apathetic

apathogenic

apathy

apatite

Statistics for apathetic

Last Updated

11 Oct 2019

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for apathetic

The first known use of apathetic was in 1892

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More Definitions for apathetic

apathetic

adjective

English Language Learners Definition of apathetic

: not having or showing much emotion or interest

apathetic

adjective
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 apathetically (audio) \ adverb

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