disinterested

adjective
dis·​in·​ter·​est·​ed | \ (ˌ)dis-ˈin-trə-stəd How to pronounce disinterested (audio) ; -ˈin-tə-ˌre-, -tə-rə-, -tər-; -ˈin-ˌtre- \

Definition of disinterested

1a : not having the mind or feelings engaged (see engaged sense 1) : not interested telling them in a disinterested voice— Tom Wicker disinterested in women— J. A. Brussel
b : no longer interested husband and wife become disinterested in each other— T. I. Rubin
2 : free from selfish motive or interest (see interest entry 1 sense 1a) : unbiased a disinterested decision disinterested intellectual curiosity is the lifeblood of real civilization— G. M. Trevelyan

Keep scrolling for more

Other Words from disinterested

disinterestedly adverb

Choose the Right Synonym for disinterested

indifferent, unconcerned, incurious, aloof, detached, disinterested mean not showing or feeling interest. indifferent implies neutrality of attitude from lack of inclination, preference, or prejudice. indifferent to the dictates of fashion unconcerned suggests a lack of sensitivity or regard for others' needs or troubles. unconcerned about the homeless incurious implies an inability to take a normal interest due to dullness of mind or to self-centeredness. incurious about the world aloof suggests a cool reserve arising from a sense of superiority or disdain for inferiors or from shyness. aloof from his coworkers detached implies an objective attitude achieved through absence of prejudice or selfishness. observed family gatherings with detached amusement disinterested implies a circumstantial freedom from concern for personal or especially financial advantage that enables one to judge or advise without bias. judged by a panel of disinterested observers

Disinterested vs. Uninterested: Usage Guide

Disinterested and uninterested have a tangled history. Uninterested originally meant impartial, but this sense fell into disuse during the 18th century. About the same time the original sense of disinterested also disappeared, with uninterested developing a new sense—the present meaning—to take its place. The original sense of uninterested is still out of use, but the original sense of disinterested revived in the early 20th century. The revival has since been under frequent attack as an illiteracy and a blurring or loss of a useful distinction. Actual usage shows otherwise. The "free from selfish interest" sense of disinterested is still its most frequent sense, especially in edited prose; it shows no sign of vanishing. Further, disinterested has developed an additional sense—"no longer interested"—perhaps influenced by the "deprive of" sense of the prefix dis-, that contrasts with uninterested. when I grow tired or disinterested in anything, I experience a disgust — Jack London, letter, 1914 Still, use of the "not interested" and "no longer interested" senses of disinterested will incur the disapproval of some who may not fully appreciate the history of this word or the subtleties of its present use.

Examples of disinterested in a Sentence

the disinterested pursuit of truth the city's philistines, naturally disinterested in art, voted to cut the museum's budget
Recent Examples on the Web But the 500 has fallen short of expectations as Americans grew disinterested in super-small cars. Nathan Bomey, USA TODAY, "These 9 cars will be killed in 2020: Chevrolet, Ford, Fiat vehicles are saying goodbye," 19 Dec. 2019 Things don't initially go much better for Charles behind closed doors: his fellow students are either disinterested or openly hostile to him, while Millward can't entirely hide his suspicion either. Emma Dibdin, Town & Country, "The True Story of Prince Charles's Welsh Lessons With His Tutor Edward Millward," 17 Nov. 2019 And looking disinterested in Game 4 on the road in conference play, that’s a very troubling sign. Tim Sullivan, The Courier-Journal, "Louisville football's culture change means accountability and effort are back," 10 Aug. 2019 Francis Bacon, an English intellectual and early contributor to the movement, thought that through disinterested and open inquiry, nature’s secrets could be understood and then manipulated to the benefit of humankind. The Economist, "A society’s values and beliefs matter for its economy," 25 July 2019 At times, Bidwill was accused of being cheap, greedy and disinterested in winning. Kent Somers, azcentral, "Arizona Cardinals owner Bill Bidwill dies at 88," 2 Oct. 2019 Soon enough this franchise would become a middle-aged man’s disinterested dream of adolescence, at once preachy and goofy. Darren Franich, EW.com, "Star Wars rewatch: The Empire Strikes Back is the special effects movie that hates special effects," 30 Oct. 2019 Rochester, danced by Greig Matthews, is as complicated as any of them, his mannerisms at first giving off a pretentious, disinterested vibe. Lauren Warnecke, chicagotribune.com, "Review: Joffrey’s cast is terrific in ‘Jane Eyre,’ but bring your crib sheet," 17 Oct. 2019 Appelbaum’s book shows economists’ dramatic impact on government policy, and thus reveals economics to be not an abstract, disinterested science but a moral and political science all to itself. Robin Kaiser-schatzlein, The New Republic, "The Tyranny of Economists," 30 Sep. 2019

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

See More

First Known Use of disinterested

circa 1612, in the meaning defined at sense 1a

Keep scrolling for more

Learn More about disinterested

Time Traveler for disinterested

Time Traveler

The first known use of disinterested was circa 1612

See more words from the same year

Listen to Our Podcast about disinterested

Statistics for disinterested

Last Updated

15 Jan 2020

Cite this Entry

“Disinterested.” The Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster Inc., https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/disinterested. Accessed 22 January 2020.

Keep scrolling for more

More Definitions for disinterested

disinterested

adjective
How to pronounce disinterested (audio)

English Language Learners Definition of disinterested

: not influenced by personal feelings, opinions, or concerns
: having no desire to know about a particular thing : not interested

disinterested

adjective
dis·​in·​ter·​est·​ed | \ dis-ˈin-trə-stəd How to pronounce disinterested (audio) , -ˈin-tə-rə- \

Kids Definition of disinterested

1 : not interested disinterested in sports
2 : not influenced by personal feelings or concerns a disinterested judge

disinterested

adjective
dis·​in·​ter·​est·​ed | \ dis-ˈin-tə-rəs-təd, -ˈin-trəs-, -ˈin-tə-ˌres- How to pronounce disinterested (audio) \

Legal Definition of disinterested

: free of any interest especially of a pecuniary nature : impartial a disinterested person to witness the will

Keep scrolling for more

More from Merriam-Webster on disinterested

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for disinterested

Spanish Central: Translation of disinterested

Nglish: Translation of disinterested for Spanish Speakers

Comments on disinterested

What made you want to look up disinterested? Please tell us where you read or heard it (including the quote, if possible).

WORD OF THE DAY

to help to grow, develop, or succeed

Get Word of the Day daily email!

Test Your Vocabulary

Intact Latin Quiz

  • roman tablet
  • What did focus mean in Latin?
Spell It

Can you spell these 10 commonly misspelled words?

TAKE THE QUIZ
Dictionary Devil

Test Your Knowledge - and learn some interesting things along the way.

TAKE THE QUIZ
Love words? Need even more definitions?

Subscribe to America's largest dictionary and get thousands more definitions and advanced search—ad free!