in·​dif·​fer·​ence | \in-ˈdi-fərn(t)s, -f(ə-)rən(t)s\

Definition of indifference 

1 : the quality, state, or fact of being indifferent

2a archaic : lack of difference or distinction between two or more things

b : absence of compulsion to or toward one thing or another

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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

But maybe the reasonable-fear passage rate is only low because the people who are subject to that standard now have less compelling cases than people fleeing gang violence and government indifference in Honduras. Dara Lind, Vox, "The asylum ban — Trump’s boldest immigration power grab yet — explained," 12 Nov. 2018 The lack of urgency to develop such route symbolizes the apparent negligence and indifference from state officials, public representatives, and the oil industry in their responsibility to properly assess and mitigate pipeline risks. Mary Lovell, Teen Vogue, "Bayou Bridge Pipeline Meets Resistance from the L’eau Est La Vie Camp," 16 Oct. 2018 The district court decided that the delay and ultimate denial of treatment did not constitute deliberate indifference by Kallas. Bruce Vielmetti, Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, "Transgender inmate can sue over denial of hormone treatment, U.S. Appeals Court rules," 11 July 2018 On the other hand, indifference can lead to increased anxiety and impaired psychological adjustment. Robert Martone, Scientific American, "Early Life Experience: It’s in Your DNA," 10 July 2018 Desperation met indifference at the World Cup on Thursday, with more than a taste of controversy. Bruce Jenkins,, "World Cup’s fresh theme: what might have been," 28 June 2018 And eliminating someone’s humanity is one way to justify bigotry and indifference. Mekita Rivas, Teen Vogue, "It's Not OK to Appropriate Mexican Culture — Especially If You’re Dehumanizing Its People," 28 June 2018 Frustrated by the wait, hundreds of Haitian migrants in the Dominican town of Barahona marched to the local Haitian consulate earlier this week, denouncing corruption and indifference in the office over a backlog for passports. Jacqueline Charles, miamiherald, "These Haitian kids need surgery in another country. Getting a passport is the hard part," 22 June 2018 After a strikeout, Hill reached on a walk and made it to second on catcher’s indifference to put runners on second and third. Tom Moor, Indianapolis Star, "IHSAA baseball: University books Class A state finals berth," 9 June 2018

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.

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First Known Use of indifference

15th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1

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Last Updated

20 Nov 2018

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

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More Definitions for indifference



English Language Learners Definition of indifference

: lack of interest in or concern about something : an indifferent attitude or feeling


in·​dif·​fer·​ence | \in-ˈdi-fə-rəns, -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 \

Medical Definition of indifference 

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

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by force of circumstances

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