un·​in·​ter·​est·​ed | \ ˌən-ˈin-t(ə-)rə-stəd; -ˈin-tə-ˌre- How to pronounce uninterested (audio) , -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 Lissa is uninterested in the political machinations of the Royal Court or the hypocrisy of Moroi royal society. Joe Otterson, Variety, 30 Aug. 2021 In 2013, the farm received a new owner who was uninterested in continuing the cruel practice of extracting bile from live moon bears. Kelli Bender, PEOPLE.com, 10 Aug. 2021 But despite near frenetic texting, emailing and breathless cries of 'Stop the Republican Recall' by Newsom's forces, the Democratic base appears at most, uninterested. Maeve Reston, CNN, 10 Aug. 2021 More stars declined the opportunity in 2019, uninterested in going to China for the World Cup when the Olympics were scheduled to be back in Asia a year later. Brian Mahoney, Star Tribune, 22 July 2021 But that was before the pandemic arrived, adding stress to a generation that already has a reputation for being disengaged, fatalistic and uninterested in the outside world. Los Angeles Times, 21 July 2021 Every now and then, for a period of some years, one is unhappy and feels uninterested in one’s unhappiness, and everyone else seems unhappy, too. Will Stephenson, Harper's Magazine, 20 July 2021 Their parents looked on these games with a benign lack of curiosity, happy to supply paper, pens, and blank tapes, but uninterested in hearing anything about the imaginary inhabitants of fictional countries. Sally Rooney, The New Yorker, 5 July 2021 During the cable car ride, Mr. Moon and his wife, Kim Jung-sook, diplomatically explained the health benefits of regular exercise while Mr. Kim appeared to look out the window uninterested. New York Times, 29 June 2021

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

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The first known use of uninterested was in 1661

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Last Updated

3 Sep 2021

Cite this Entry

“Uninterested.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/uninterested. Accessed 21 Sep. 2021.

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More Definitions for uninterested



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.

More from Merriam-Webster on uninterested

Nglish: Translation of uninterested for Spanish Speakers


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