in·​dif·​fer·​ence | \ in-ˈdi-fərn(t)s, -f(ə-)rən(t)s How to pronounce indifference (audio) \

Definition of indifference

1 : the quality, state, or fact of being indifferent
2a : absence of compulsion to or toward one thing or another
b archaic : lack of difference or distinction between two or more things

Examples of indifference in a Sentence

She was amazed that some people could watch the trial with indifference. She watched them with a cool indifference.
Recent Examples on the Web Since nobody wants to invest with a depreciating currency—the currency of future profit streams—unemployment and recession necessarily result from official indifference toward maintaining classical money. Brian Domitrovic, Forbes, 30 Apr. 2022 Under Kentucky law, wanton endangerment involves conduct that creates a substantial danger of death or serious injury, while showing indifference to human life. Talal Ansari, WSJ, 3 Mar. 2022 The federal charges: He's also been charged in federal court with depriving Floyd of his civil rights by allegedly showing deliberate indifference to his medical needs. Harmeet Kaur And Nicole Chavez, CNN, 24 Jan. 2022 They're charged with depriving Floyd of the right to be free from indifference to his medical needs. Amy Forliti, ajc, 11 Jan. 2022 The French public has greeted the jostling among the three pretenders mostly with indifference or contempt. Helen Lewis, The Atlantic, 12 Apr. 2022 Closely related to Democrats’ relative indifference to economic growth is their lack of optimism that a rapid advance and application of technology can produce an abundant future. Ruy Teixeira, National Review, 31 Mar. 2022 The Times responded to this indifference toward Biden with bizarre condescension. John R. Macarthur, Harper’s Magazine , 7 Dec. 2021 This can signal retreat, indifference or isolation that leads to employees distancing themselves from the team and co-workers. Niki Jorgensen, Forbes, 24 Sep. 2021 See More

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

First Known Use of indifference

15th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1

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The first known use of indifference was in the 15th century

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indifference curve

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Last Updated

14 May 2022

Cite this Entry

“Indifference.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 25 May. 2022.

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More Definitions for indifference


in·​dif·​fer·​ence | \ in-ˈdi-fə-rəns How to pronounce indifference (audio) , -ˈdi-frəns \

Kids Definition of indifference

: lack of interest or concern He treated the matter with indifference.


in·​dif·​fer·​ence | \ in-ˈdif-ərn(t)s, -ˈdif-(ə-)rən(t)s How to pronounce indifference (audio) \

Medical Definition of indifference

: the quality, state, or fact of being indifferent a schizophrenic reaction accompanied by apathy and indifference

More from Merriam-Webster on indifference

Nglish: Translation of indifference for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of indifference for Arabic Speakers Encyclopedia article about indifference


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