im·​par·​tial (ˌ)im-ˈpär-shəl How to pronounce impartial (audio)
: not partial or biased : treating or affecting all equally
impartiality noun
impartially adverb

Did you know?

Impartial vs Partial

To be "partial to" or "partial toward" someone or something is to be somewhat biased or prejudiced, which means that a person who is partial really only sees part of the whole picture. To be impartial is the opposite. The United Nations sends impartial observers to monitor elections in troubled countries. We hope judges and juries will be impartial when they hand down verdicts. But grandparents aren't expected to be impartial when describing their new grandchild.

Choose the Right Synonym for impartial

fair, just, equitable, impartial, unbiased, dispassionate, objective mean free from favor toward either or any side.

fair implies a proper balance of conflicting interests.

a fair decision

just implies an exact following of a standard of what is right and proper.

a just settlement of territorial claims

equitable implies a less rigorous standard than just and usually suggests equal treatment of all concerned.

the equitable distribution of the property

impartial stresses an absence of favor or prejudice.

an impartial third party

unbiased implies even more strongly an absence of all prejudice.

your unbiased opinion

dispassionate suggests freedom from the influence of strong feeling and often implies cool or even cold judgment.

a dispassionate summation of the facts

objective stresses a tendency to view events or persons as apart from oneself and one's own interest or feelings.

I can't be objective about my own child

Examples of impartial in a Sentence

an impartial analysis of the case an impartial evaluation of the job applicant's qualifications that does not consider age, gender, or race
Recent Examples on the Web The ability to self-reflect encourages a more impartial and less self-serving viewpoint when addressing problems. Mark Travers, Forbes, 29 Nov. 2023 The international community must support these efforts by providing resources and expertise and by maintaining impartial oversight to ensure the process is inclusive, transparent, and fair. Patrick Vinck, Foreign Affairs, 15 Nov. 2023 But a judge could be asked to step aside because of prior rulings that cast doubt on their ability to be impartial. Devlin Barrett, Washington Post, 5 Nov. 2023 Advertisement He was also deeply impressed by Robert Frank’s road trip photo book The Americans and the cumulative power of seemingly impartial observations. Susan Tallman, The New York Review of Books, 2 Nov. 2023 How could elected officials be impartial in funding news organizations? Petula Dvorak, Washington Post, 30 Oct. 2023 The idea that journalists aren’t impartial—or even that they are linked to combatants—can put them in danger. WIRED, 25 Oct. 2023 Among the concerns: whether administrators of color have been subjected to disciplinary proceedings at higher rates than their peers and whether the disciplinary proceedings were being conducted in a fair and impartial way. James Vaznis,, 22 Aug. 2023 Its proposal for a peaceful settlement of the Ukraine war has gained little traction, not least because Ukraine doesn’t see it as impartial. Lyric Li, Washington Post, 22 Oct. 2023 See More

These examples are programmatically compiled from various online sources to illustrate current usage of the word 'impartial.' Any opinions expressed in the examples do not represent those of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback about these examples.

Word History

First Known Use

1587, in the meaning defined above

Time Traveler
The first known use of impartial was in 1587

Dictionary Entries Near impartial

Cite this Entry

“Impartial.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 9 Dec. 2023.

Kids Definition


im·​par·​tial (ˈ)im-ˈpär-shəl How to pronounce impartial (audio)
: treating all equally : not partial
an impartial judge
impartiality noun
impartially adverb

Legal Definition


im·​par·​tial im-ˈpär-shəl How to pronounce impartial (audio)
: not partial or biased : treating or affecting all equally
impartiality noun
impartially adverb

More from Merriam-Webster on impartial

Last Updated: - Updated example sentences
Love words? Need even more definitions?

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