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

No more defensive indifference Everyone will look at the pass rush. Jerry Mcdonald, The Mercury News, "Five keys for Raiders in Monday night opener against Broncos," 9 Sep. 2019 Good luck trying to crack Humphrey’s look of studied indifference on that subject. Baltimore Sun Staff,, "Ravens cornerback Marlon Humphrey shrugs off veterans’ ribbing in quest to join league’s elite," 7 Sep. 2019 Ignorance and indifference are laying fresh tracks on which anti-Semitic hatred can travel. The Economist, "Historical memorials are not enough to stop anti-Semitism in Europe," 22 Aug. 2019 Now, a smaller but more complex outbreak rages in the Democratic Republic of Congo, and the U.S. response has been shaped by indifference and bureaucratic haggling. Bloomberg Opinion, Twin Cities, "Other voices: Congo’s ebola outbreak isn’t just Congo’s problem," 8 Aug. 2019 Yet the film overcomes that challenge in two ways: not only is history on its side, but the film shows how many of its characters - even Brian's accuser - confront pervasive indifference. Alan Zilberman, Houston Chronicle, "Powerful true story comes to life in ‘Brian Banks’," 7 Aug. 2019 The coach hit a new low with a team careening toward historic indifference, the Bruins falling to the Aztecs, 23-14, before an announced crowd of 36,951 that was their fourth smallest at the Rose Bowl since making it their home in 1982. Ben Bolch, Los Angeles Times, "UCLA falls to San Diego State for the first time to open season 0-2," 7 Sep. 2019 Some athletes would profess indifference to this, or even embrace the role of WWE-style heel. Jon Wertheim,, "10 Big Questions Ahead of the 2019 U.S. Open," 24 Aug. 2019 Green’s indifference—and the blank looks mention of the mark elicited around the clubhouse — is merited. San Diego Union-Tribune, "Padres fizzle despite their pop," 23 Aug. 2019

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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Statistics for indifference

Last Updated

9 Oct 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 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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