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

Another suspect, Joel Michael Wilson, 31, has been arrested and faces charges of first degree assault - extreme indifference, second degree assault – serious bodily injury, and child abuse, according to The Sun newspaper, which covered the story. David Caraccio, sacbee, "Video shows man in violent bar fight while holding his 4-year-old daughter," 6 Mar. 2018 What about the sheer indifference, the lack of curiosity? Jon Wertheim,, "The Striking Contrast Between the Mavs and Panthers In Crisis," 23 Feb. 2018 See, private business isn’t held accountable by voters the same way politicians are held responsible for depraved indifference. Ed Wallace, star-telegram, "Needed: A Roads Scholar," 24 Feb. 2018 This time, the show chooses to literally close the doors on the attack itself, instead focusing on the tavern patrons' indifference to (and in some cases, bemusement at) Brianna's screams and cries from the back. Julie Kosin, Harper's BAZAAR, "Outlander's Sophie Skelton Breaks Down Brianna's Harrowing Assault," 24 Dec. 2018 What’s less enjoyable is the film’s indifference to detail, and its penchant for formula. Joe Morgenstern, WSJ, "‘The Mule’ Review: From Horticulture to Drug Culture," 13 Dec. 2018 Both men see their fortunes change in Billions’ wildly entertaining third season, thanks in large part to the government’s new indifference to wealthy folks who ignore regulations. Noel Murray, The Verge, "The 20 best TV series of 2018," 12 Dec. 2018 The software industry has shown at best indifference to preserving and safeguarding this legacy and, in the case of gaming ROMs, outright hostility. Peter Bright, Ars Technica, "Running Windows 95 in an “app” is a dumb stunt that makes a good point," 25 Aug. 2018 Republican indifference to democracy is a threat to the system For most of American history, elections have not been free or fair. Zack Beauchamp, Vox, "The Wisconsin power grab is part of a bigger Republican attack on democracy," 6 Dec. 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

16 Jan 2019

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Time Traveler for indifference

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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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).


to gather or build up little by little

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