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

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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 President Sall offered his condolences in a tweet but did not give a speech at the time, which many youth interpreted as a sign of indifference. Nellie Peyton, Quartz, "To understand the #FreeSenegal movement, look to its music," 15 Mar. 2021 Or will it be done in by the kind of indifference chillingly depicted in the film? Los Angeles Times, "Oscar nominations 2021: Complete predictions in all 23 categories," 12 Mar. 2021 Blatti, 75, was previously arrested in 2019 and arraigned Thursday on the new depraved indifference murder counts as well as reckless endangerment counts. Aaron Katersky, ABC News, "Doctor who prescribed 'massive quantities of opioids' charged with murder," 4 Mar. 2021 The Story of Anvil, Sacha Gervasi’s 2008 film about a Canadian hair metal band’s decades-long resilience in the face of commercial failure and critical indifference. Mark O’connell, The New York Review of Books, "Old Midlands Giants," 23 Mar. 2021 It was met with even harsher critical response, bordering on indifference in some cases. Patrick Lyons, Billboard, "10 Ways That Daft Punk's 'Discovery' Predicted Pop Music's Future, As Explained by Fellow Artists," 12 Mar. 2021 On Wednesday, the Minnesota supreme court declined to delay the trial in order to consider the validity of the third-degree-murder charge, which alleges that Chauvin exhibited depraved indifference in causing Floyd’s death. Andrew C. Mccarthy, National Review, "Derek Chauvin Rebuffed by High Court," 11 Mar. 2021 But the arrival was greeted with indifference by many Afghans, who have rebuffed government warnings that the virus is a deadly public health threat. New York Times, "Where a Vaccination Campaign Faces Skepticism, War and Corruption," 23 Feb. 2021 What emerges from these stories of racial and gender bias, summary firings, and indifference to employees’ mental health is that Google is pretty much like any other big company. Jacob Silverman, The New Republic, "The Sad Implosion of Google’s Ethical AI," 8 Mar. 2021

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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Time Traveler for indifference

Time Traveler

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

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Statistics for indifference

Last Updated

8 Apr 2021

Cite this Entry

“Indifference.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 10 Apr. 2021.

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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 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

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