disinterested

adjective
dis·​in·​ter·​est·​ed | \(ˌ)dis-ˈin-trə-stəd; -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

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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.

What is the Difference Between disinterested and uninterested?

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 sense of disinterested describing someone not having the mind or feelings engaged also disappeared, only to have uninterested take its place. The original sense of uninterested is still out of use, but the original ("not interested") sense of disinterested revived in the early 20th century. The revival has come under frequent attack as an illiteracy and a blurring or loss of a useful distinction. However, actual usage shows that writers and speakers use these words with intention. For instance, a writer may choose disinterested in preference to uninterested for emphasis, as in "a supremely disinterested child." Further, disinterested has developed a sense meaning "no longer interested," which is clearly distinguishable from uninterested.

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

In every other scene, though, the lens is an utterly disinterested observer, the camera fixed atop a tripod, anchored and immobile. Charles Desmarais, San Francisco Chronicle, "Scenes of a privileged paradise that can never be in Ragnar Kjartansson’s ‘Western Culture’," 25 May 2018 The casual attitude can sometimes combine with the occasional intonation glitch and come across as annoyed, tired, disinterested, or sarcastic. Ron Amadeo, Ars Technica, "Talking to Google Duplex: Google’s human-like phone AI feels revolutionary," 27 June 2018 Or American workers, most of whom were so disinterested in low-paying farm work that Ohio had announced a crisis work shortage of 15,000 agricultural jobs? Eli Saslow, Washington Post, "After raid, immigrant families are separated in the American heartland," 30 June 2018 That history is not one of politically disinterested policymakers negotiating impartially as to the Court’s size. Dylan Matthews, Vox, "Court-packing, Democrats’ nuclear option for the Supreme Court, explained," 2 July 2018 Ahmed Musa's double did the trick, and the pace and pressure that Nigeria applied to Iceland could wreak havoc on an Argentina side that has looked slow and disinterested in defense in two matches. Avi Creditor, SI.com, "LIVE: Argentina Plays for Its World Cup Survival vs. Nigeria," 26 June 2018 Consequently, students who become disinterested in a course or vocal about its shortcomings and historical erasure are often labeled defiant and pushed out of the classroom. Valerie Strauss, Washington Post, "TEACHING FOR BLACK LIVES," 10 July 2018 Or American workers, most of whom were so disinterested in low-paying farm work that Ohio had announced a crisis work shortage of 15,000 agricultural jobs? Eli Saslow, Anchorage Daily News, "Raids are separating families in the heartland," 1 July 2018 Few people showed real, disinterested concern for the Russian royals. The Economist, "How the royal houses of Europe abandoned the Romanovs," 28 June 2018

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.

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First Known Use of disinterested

circa 1612, in the meaning defined at sense 1a

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Last Updated

8 Oct 2018

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Time Traveler for disinterested

The first known use of disinterested was circa 1612

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More Definitions for disinterested

disinterested

adjective

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, -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- \

Legal Definition of disinterested 

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

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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

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