apathy was our Word of the Day on 04/29/2009. Hear the podcast!
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Examples of apathy in a Sentence
- That's the danger of a teeming cast of … characters: they get jumbled in the viewer's mind, and … apathy ensues. Novels can afford a rich banquet of personalities; it's what readers sign up for. But ratiocination isn't welcome in modern movies, which prefer visceral impact over intellect. —Richard Corliss, Time, 20 Oct. 2008
- But short of such complete apathy, there are other neurological conditions in which the capacity for genuine emotion is compromised. One sees this in some forms of autism, in the "flat affect" of some schizophrenics. … But here, as with Harry, music can often break through, if only in a limited way or for a brief time, and release seemingly normal emotions. —Oliver Sacks, Musicophilia, 2008
- According to the polls, "the American people, as opposed to some of their leaders, seek no converts to their ideology." And they are not "cultural imperialists." Maybe not. But this reserve seems grounded less in humility (60 percent of Americans consider their culture "superior to others") than in apathy. —Robert Wright, New York Times Book Review, 14 May 2006
- The result could well be further inequality of political information, with avid followers of politics becoming ever more knowledgeable while the rest of the public slips deeper into political apathy. —Martin P. Wattenberg, Atlantic, October 1998
People have shown surprising apathy toward these important social problems.
People have shown a surprising apathy toward these problems.
Recent Examples of apathy from the Web
Jay Cutler’s doing his apathy act on his wife’s reality show.
The episode was meant to be fun and Virginia-themed (?), but its bland jingoism fell way off the mark, especially considering the Bachelorette's general apathy.
After outlining all the ways nations across the world can help the severely underfunded efforts, Jolie addressed how the public can help by fighting back against apathy and getting involved in the cause.
Voter apathy As widely expected, Sisi won 97 percent of the vote in a March contest that only featured himself and a token loyalist candidate.
The end of the task force marks the latest setback in a county where attempts to target corruption have often run into apathy or outright resistance from political leaders.
Again, from the Times: Part of the problem, officials say, is that the White House has expressed little interest in the problem of Russian interference, and that the apathy has had a trickle-down effect.
Part of the problem, officials say, is that the White House has expressed little interest in the problem of Russian interference, and that the apathy has had a trickle-down effect.
Ed Stefanski, for now A lot of times in sports when a team is struggling, the anger in the fan base either boils over or turns to apathy.
These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'apathy.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.
How apathy Differs from impassivity and indifference
Apathy, impassivity, and indifference all denote a lack of responsiveness to something that might normally excite interest or emotion. Apathy suggests a puzzling or deplorable inertness or lack of passion, as in “the problem of continued voter apathy.” Impassivity stresses the absence of any external sign of emotion in action or facial expression, as in “teachers frustrated by the impassivity of their students.” Indifference connotes a lack of interest in or concern about something, as in “the company’s apparent indifference to the needs of its employees.”
The Greek Origins of apathy
There's no reason to be uncaring about the origins of apathy—though there is a clue to the word's beginnings in this sentence. Apathy was borrowed into English in the late 16th century from Greek apatheia, which itself comes from the adjective apathēs, meaning "without feeling." Apathēs, in turn, was formed by combining the negating prefix a- with pathos, meaning "emotion." Incidentally, if you've guessed that pathos is the source of the identically spelled noun in English (meaning either "an element in experience or in artistic representation evoking pity or compassion" or "an emotion of sympathetic pity"), you are correct. Pathos also gave us such words as antipathy, empathy, sympathy, pathetic, and even the archaic word pathematic ("emotional").
APATHY Defined for English Language Learners
Definition of apathy for English Language Learners
: the feeling of not having much emotion or interest : an apathetic state
APATHY Defined for Kids
Seen and Heard
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