Definition of indifferent
1 : marked by impartiality : unbiased
2a : that does not matter one way or the otherb : of no importance or value one way or the other
3a : marked by no special liking for or dislike of something indifferent about which task he was givenb : marked by a lack of interest, enthusiasm, or concern for something : apathetic indifferent to suffering and poverty
4 : being neither excessive nor inadequate : moderate hills of indifferent size
5a : being neither good nor bad : mediocre does indifferent workb : being neither right nor wrong
6 : characterized by lack of active quality : neutral an indifferent chemical
7a : not differentiated indifferent tissues of the human bodyb : capable of development in more than one direction; especially : not yet embryologically determined
Examples of indifferent in a Sentence
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
… aspects of language that the earlier grammarians were indifferent to. —Geoffrey Nunberg, Atlantic, December 1983
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
The movie was poorly received by an indifferent public.
Was the food good, bad, or indifferent?
Recent Examples of indifferent from the Web
Florida head coach Jim McElwain, who stands to gain the most in the short term, was fairly indifferent about it when asked about it earlier in the week.
Although often taking an indifferent approach to his wardrobe, Kennedy was acutely aware of the times when clothing mattered most.
Gay people at the end of the millennium were almost forced into becoming ministering angels to one another, and into taking on indifferent governmental institutions.
To landlubbers, sharks can seem mindless, indifferent to suffering and fundamentally unlovable, with a gaze as blank and pitiless as the sun.
These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'indifferent'. Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.
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 Defined for English Language Learners
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
Definition of indifferent for Students
1 : not interested or concerned about something She's indifferent about your problems.
2 : neither good nor bad an indifferent performance
Medical Definition of indifferent
1: having or exhibiting a lack of affect, concern, or care
2a: not differentiated indifferent tissues of the human bodyb: capable of development in more than one direction; especially : not yet embryologically determined
Seen and Heard
What made you want to look up indifferent? Please tell us where you read or heard it (including the quote, if possible).