un·​in·​ter·​est·​ed | \ ˌən-ˈin-t(ə-)rə-stəd How to pronounce uninterested (audio) ; -ˈin-tə-ˌre-, -ˈin-ˌtre-; -ˈin-tər- \

Definition of uninterested

: not interested : not having the mind or feelings engaged

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Disinterested vs. Uninterested: Usage Guide

Disinterested and uninterested have a tangled history. Uninterested originally meant impartial, but this sense fell into disuse during the 18th century. About the same time the original sense of disinterested also disappeared, with uninterested developing a new sense—the present meaning—to take its place. The original sense of uninterested is still out of use, but the original sense of disinterested revived in the early 20th century. The revival has since been under frequent attack as an illiteracy and a blurring or loss of a useful distinction. Actual usage shows otherwise. The "free from selfish interest" sense of disinterested is still its most frequent sense, especially in edited prose; it shows no sign of vanishing. Further, disinterested has developed an additional sense—"no longer interested"—perhaps influenced by the "deprive of" sense of the prefix dis-, that contrasts with uninterested. when I grow tired or disinterested in anything, I experience a disgust — Jack London, letter, 1914 Still, use of the "not interested" and "no longer interested" senses of disinterested will incur the disapproval of some who may not fully appreciate the history of this word or the subtleties of its present use.

Examples of uninterested in a Sentence

the teacher decided to make a career change after having to teach yet another class of uninterested teens
Recent Examples on the Web Settling into Knopf’s cluttered Park Avenue offices with the carefree aplomb of a court jester, the black-bearded boss seemed amusedly uninterested in literary power and the genteel back-stabbing politics of the publishing world. Robert D. Mcfadden, New York Times, "Sonny Mehta, Venerable Knopf Publisher, Is Dead at 77," 31 Dec. 2019 Lewis was the only winner who mentioned Trump, and the crowd of nearly 20,000 seemed largely uninterested in him. Dan Gelston, The Denver Post, "The Rock, President Trump watch Jorge Masvidal win big at UFC 244," 3 Nov. 2019 Again and again, intentionally or not, you’re reminded here of how uninterested Hollywood was in comics, until 20 years ago. Christopher Borrelli, chicagotribune.com, "He dared to build the Hall of Justice in his backyard — now there’s a superhero museum in Elkhart, Ind.," 26 Sep. 2019 Republicans also seem uninterested in basic fact-finding, like letting the FBI investigate, and some senators and their aides took less than a day to conclude that Ramirez’s story could simply not be true. Dylan Scott, Vox, "The very simple reason Republicans are fighting so hard for Brett Kavanaugh," 24 Sep. 2018 A few months later, the couple went to an art opening, and Leslie found Dale transformed: uninterested in window-shopping, inexplicably silent, gloomy. BostonGlobe.com, "When Leslie Jackson Chihuly met the artist who would become her husband, Dale Chihuly was a firecracker — talkative, compelling, upbeat. “He was interested in everything. He wanted to look at vintage clothing. He wanted to talk about books,” she recalled of their first days 25 years ago.," 23 Oct. 2019 But the kind of people who passionately read FIRE blogs are precisely the kind of people uninterested in paying a financial planner. Michael Taylor, ExpressNews.com, "Commentary: Beware of FIRE … and early retirement withdrawal penalties," 1 Nov. 2019 Drivers uninterested in stomach-churning track expeditions will be glad to know that Polestar’s first fully electric car is a useful, family-friendly sedan. Wired, "Polestar's First EV Is a Track-Happy Challenge to Tesla's Model 3," 22 Oct. 2019 No one was around me except for a bleating goat, a black-faced langur monkey hanging by its tail on the Neem tree and perhaps an uninterested peacock. Dr. Monita Soni, al, "A lunch to remember," 2 Oct. 2019

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'uninterested.' 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 uninterested

1661, in the meaning defined above

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Time Traveler for uninterested

Time Traveler

The first known use of uninterested was in 1661

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Statistics for uninterested

Last Updated

20 Jan 2020

Cite this Entry

“Uninterested.” The Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster Inc., https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/uninterested. Accessed 28 January 2020.

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More Definitions for uninterested


How to pronounce uninterested (audio)

English Language Learners Definition of uninterested

: not wanting to learn more about something or become involved in something : not interested


un·​in·​ter·​est·​ed | \ ˌən-ˈin-trə-stəd, -ˈin-tə-rə- \

Kids Definition of uninterested

: not interested He was uninterested in watching the parade.

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More from Merriam-Webster on uninterested

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for uninterested

Spanish Central: Translation of uninterested

Nglish: Translation of uninterested for Spanish Speakers

Comments on uninterested

What made you want to look up uninterested? Please tell us where you read or heard it (including the quote, if possible).


showing steady, earnest care and effort

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