-ˈin-tə-ˌre- How to pronounce uninterested (audio)
: not interested : not having the mind or feelings engaged
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 Likewise, Gulf countries are largely uninterested in interfering in African countries’ internal political affairs. Matthew T. Page, TIME, 10 May 2024 The majority of Gen Z is uninterested in drinking alcohol or taking drugs, so much so that the nightlife scene is suffering abysmally, with new closures announced every week. Rebecca Cope, Vogue, 19 Apr. 2024 And with the thriving black market, pharmaceutical companies have seemed uninterested in sponsoring cannabis clinical trials. Jane C. Hu, The Atlantic, 8 Apr. 2024 The Ukrainian presidency enjoys widespread support and trust, and the country’s people are uninterested in trading land for peace. Branislav L. Slantchev, Foreign Affairs, 1 Apr. 2024 Bridesmaids seems like an obvious choice for a sequel, but Wiig is decidedly uninterested in it. Rebecca Keegan, The Hollywood Reporter, 14 Mar. 2024 Between the Grammys, the next leg of her Eras Tour, and her boyfriend Travis Kelce playing in the Super Bowl next weekend, she is booked, busy, and uninterested in becoming a trending topic for anything other than winning all the things. Sam Reed, Glamour, 5 Feb. 2024 He was served entrees that are stale and tasteless, while the owner is aloof and the kitchen staff is uninterested. Andrew J. Campa, Los Angeles Times, 17 Mar. 2024 The experience changed Cecilia, although Andrew Lobel’s screenplay seems uninterested in the details of that profound transformation. Lovia Gyarkye, The Hollywood Reporter, 13 Mar. 2024

These examples are programmatically compiled from various online sources to illustrate current usage of the word 'uninterested.' Any opinions expressed in the examples do not represent those of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback about these examples.

Word History

First Known Use

1661, in the meaning defined above

Time Traveler
The first known use of uninterested was in 1661

Dictionary Entries Near uninterested

Cite this Entry

“Uninterested.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/uninterested. Accessed 27 May. 2024.

Kids Definition


: not interested : not paying attention

More from Merriam-Webster on uninterested

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