Synonyms & Antonyms of aloof

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Frequently Asked Questions About aloof

How does the adjective aloof contrast with its synonyms?

Some common synonyms of aloof are detached, disinterested, incurious, indifferent, and unconcerned. While all these words mean "not showing or feeling interest," aloof suggests a cool reserve arising from a sense of superiority or disdain for inferiors or from shyness.

aloof from his coworkers

When might detached be a better fit than aloof?

The meanings of detached and aloof largely overlap; however, detached implies an objective attitude achieved through absence of prejudice or selfishness.

observed family gatherings with detached amusement

When is disinterested a more appropriate choice than aloof?

Although the words disinterested and aloof have much in common, 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

In what contexts can incurious take the place of aloof?

The words incurious and aloof are synonyms, but do differ in nuance. Specifically, incurious implies an inability to take a normal interest due to dullness of mind or to self-centeredness.

incurious about the world

When could indifferent be used to replace aloof?

While in some cases nearly identical to aloof, indifferent implies neutrality of attitude from lack of inclination, preference, or prejudice.

indifferent to the dictates of fashion

When is it sensible to use unconcerned instead of aloof?

The synonyms unconcerned and aloof are sometimes interchangeable, but unconcerned suggests a lack of sensitivity or regard for others' needs or troubles.

unconcerned about the homeless

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Time Traveler for aloof

Time Traveler

The first known use of aloof was in 1523

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Cite this Entry

“Aloof.” Thesaurus, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 21 Jan. 2021.

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More from Merriam-Webster on aloof

Dictionary: Definition of aloof

Nglish: Translation of aloof for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of aloof for Arabic Speakers

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