adjective in·dif·fer·ent \in-ˈdi-fərnt, -f(ə-)rənt\

Definition of indifferent

  1. 1 :  marked by impartiality :  unbiased

  2. 2a :  that does not matter one way or the otherb :  of no importance or value one way or the other

  3. 3a :  marked by no special liking for or dislike of something <indifferent about which task he was given>b :  marked by a lack of interest, enthusiasm, or concern for something :  apathetic <indifferent to suffering and poverty>

  4. 4 :  being neither excessive nor inadequate :  moderate <hills of indifferent size>

  5. 5a :  being neither good nor bad :  mediocre <does indifferent work>b :  being neither right nor wrong

  6. 6 :  characterized by lack of active quality :  neutral <an indifferent chemical>

  7. 7a :  not differentiated <indifferent tissues of the human body>b :  capable of development in more than one direction; especially :  not yet embryologically determined



Examples of indifferent in a sentence

  1. It can hardly be argued, by himself or by his defenders, that he was indifferent to, or unaware of, the true situation. —Christopher Hitchens, Harper's, March 2001

  2. … aspects of language that the earlier grammarians were indifferent to. —Geoffrey Nunberg, Atlantic, December 1983

  3. For it is commonly said and commonly believed that science is completely neutral and indifferent as to the ends and values which move men to act … —John Dewey, Freedom and Culture, 1939

  4. The movie was poorly received by an indifferent public.

  5. Was the food good, bad, or indifferent?

Origin and Etymology of indifferent

Middle English, from Anglo-French or Latin; Anglo-French, from Latin indifferent-, indifferens, from in- + different-, differens, present participle of differre to be different — more at differ

First Known Use: 14th century

Synonym Discussion of indifferent

indifferent, unconcerned, incurious, aloof, detached, disinterested mean not showing or feeling interest. indifferent implies neutrality of attitude from lack of inclination, preference, or prejudice <indifferent to the dictates of fashion>. unconcerned suggests a lack of sensitivity or regard for others' needs or troubles <unconcerned about the homeless>. incurious implies an inability to take a normal interest due to dullness of mind or to self-centeredness <incurious about the world>. aloof suggests a cool reserve arising from a sense of superiority or disdain for inferiors or from shyness <aloof from his coworkers>. detached implies an objective attitude achieved through absence of prejudice or selfishness <observed family gatherings with detached amusement>. disinterested implies a circumstantial freedom from concern for personal or especially financial advantage that enables one to judge or advise without bias <judged by a panel of disinterested observers>.

INDIFFERENT Defined for English Language Learners


adjective in·dif·fer·ent \in-ˈdi-fərnt, -f(ə-)rənt\

Definition of indifferent for English Language Learners

  • : not interested in or concerned about something

  • : neither good nor bad : not very good

INDIFFERENT Defined for Kids


adjective in·dif·fer·ent \in-ˈdi-fə-rənt, -ˈdi-frənt\

Definition of indifferent for Students

  1. 1 :  not interested or concerned about something <She's indifferent about your problems.>

  2. 2 :  neither good nor bad <an indifferent performance>



Medical Dictionary


adjective in·dif·fer·ent \in-ˈdif-ərnt, -ˈdif-(ə-)rent\

Medical Definition of indifferent

  1. 1:  having or exhibiting a lack of affect, concern, or care

  2. 2a:  not differentiated <indifferent tissues of the human body>b:  capable of development in more than one direction; especially :  not yet embryologically determined



Seen and Heard

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to handle or deal with in a skillful way

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