Thesaurus

apathetic

adjective

Synonyms & Antonyms of apathetic

1 having or showing a lack of interest or concern
  • people of conscience cannot be apathetic about the great suffering in this world

Synonyms for apathetic

Words Related to apathetic

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Antonyms for apathetic

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Frequently Asked Questions About apathetic

How is the word apathetic distinct from other similar adjectives?

Some common synonyms of apathetic are impassive, phlegmatic, stoic, and stolid. While all these words mean "unresponsive to something that might normally excite interest or emotion," apathetic may imply a puzzling or deplorable indifference or inertness.

charitable appeals met an apathetic response

Where would impassive be a reasonable alternative to apathetic?

The meanings of impassive and apathetic largely overlap; however, impassive stresses the absence of any external sign of emotion in action or facial expression.

met the news with an impassive look

When can phlegmatic be used instead of apathetic?

In some situations, the words phlegmatic and apathetic are roughly equivalent. However, phlegmatic implies a temperament or constitution hard to arouse.

a phlegmatic man unmoved by tears

When might stoic be a better fit than apathetic?

The words stoic and apathetic are synonyms, but do differ in nuance. Specifically, stoic implies an apparent indifference to pleasure or especially to pain often as a matter of principle or self-discipline.

was resolutely stoic even in adversity

When is stolid a more appropriate choice than apathetic?

The words stolid and apathetic can be used in similar contexts, but stolid implies a habitual absence of interest, responsiveness, or curiosity.

stolid workers wedded to routine

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Time Traveler for apathetic

Time Traveler

The first known use of apathetic was in 1692

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Cite this Entry

“Apathetic.” Merriam-Webster.com Thesaurus, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/thesaurus/apathetic. Accessed 21 Sep. 2020.

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More from Merriam-Webster on apathetic

Dictionary: Definition of apathetic

Medical Dictionary: Definition of apathetic

Nglish: Translation of apathetic for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of apathetic for Arabic Speakers

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