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

Keep scrolling for more

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 What is offensive, however, is our liberal glitterati’s let-them-eat-cake indifference to the nation’s shop owners and wage earners. The Editorial Board, WSJ, "Madame Speaker Gets a Haircut," 2 Sep. 2020 The city’s predominantly white police union, the St. Louis Police Officers Association, has shown nothing but indifference and contempt for these two victims of police brutality. Redditt Hudson, The New Republic, "The Hell of Being a Black Cop," 31 Aug. 2020 Even as case numbers in poultry plants soared, pleas from workers and activists for basic safety measures were met with months of inaction and indifference from the government and meatpacking companies. Heather Schlitz, USA TODAY, "Arkansas poultry plants hit hard by COVID-19. Hispanic workers are facing the worst of it.," 31 Aug. 2020 But Ivanka Trump has amassed power and personal profit in her shrewd ability to provide a cover for her father’s flirtations with white supremacy and indifference to the survival of regular Americans. Jenny Singer, Glamour, "Ivanka Trump Is Trying To Rebrand Donald Trump as a #GirlDad. Girl, No.," 28 Aug. 2020 As Kerri Arsenault discovered during the making of her trenchant and aching new book, the science and practice of pollution control has been fraught with indecision, ineffectiveness, indifference and often overwhelming corporate influence. Steve Paul, Star Tribune, "Review: 'Mill Town: Reckoning With What Remains,' by Kerri Arsenault," 28 Aug. 2020 What are we supposed to do about the history of inequity, violence and indifference in our world? Linda Gandee, cleveland, "Avon Lake’s favorite daughter, Anne E. DeChant, debuts new song reflecting the times," 17 Aug. 2020 The Tonight Show host — taking a sharp turn from his days of wearing kid gloves with Trump, even infamously playing with the then-presidential candidate's hair on the show — expressed his disgust over Trump's indifference. Ryan Parker, The Hollywood Reporter, "Jimmy Fallon Skewers Trump's Coronavirus Death Toll Indifference in Axios Interview," 5 Aug. 2020 Efforts to reduce firearms deaths have been hindered not by community indifference but by a Congress afraid to cross the National Rifle Association and gun-rights supporters. Shirley Carswell, Washington Post, "What the ‘black-on-black crime’ fallacy misses about race and gun deaths," 8 July 2020

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.

See More

First Known Use of indifference

15th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1

Keep scrolling for more

Learn More about indifference

Time Traveler for indifference

Time Traveler

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

See more words from the same century

Statistics for indifference

Last Updated

10 Sep 2020

Cite this Entry

“Indifference.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 18 Sep. 2020.

Keep scrolling for more

More Definitions for indifference


How to pronounce indifference (audio)

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 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

Keep scrolling for more

Comments on indifference

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


Test Your Vocabulary

Homophone Quiz

  • three bears two of them look like theyre whispering to a third bear who looks chuffed to be the center of attention
  • In order to judge how people felt, the senator's office hired a firm to take a ______.
Spell It

Can you spell these 10 commonly misspelled words?

Dictionary Devil

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

Love words? Need even more definitions?

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