Synonym Chooser

How does the adjective disinterested contrast with its synonyms?

Some common synonyms of disinterested are aloof, detached, incurious, indifferent, and unconcerned. While all these words mean "not showing or feeling interest," 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

When can aloof be used instead of disinterested?

The words aloof and disinterested are synonyms, but do differ in nuance. Specifically, aloof suggests a cool reserve arising from a sense of superiority or disdain for inferiors or from shyness.

aloof from his coworkers

When could detached be used to replace disinterested?

The words detached and disinterested can be used in similar contexts, but detached implies an objective attitude achieved through absence of prejudice or selfishness.

observed family gatherings with detached amusement

When is incurious a more appropriate choice than disinterested?

In some situations, the words incurious and disinterested are roughly equivalent. However, incurious implies an inability to take a normal interest due to dullness of mind or to self-centeredness.

incurious about the world

In what contexts can indifferent take the place of disinterested?

While the synonyms indifferent and disinterested are close in meaning, indifferent implies neutrality of attitude from lack of inclination, preference, or prejudice.

indifferent to the dictates of fashion

When might unconcerned be a better fit than disinterested?

The synonyms unconcerned and disinterested 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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Cite this Entry

“Disinterested.” Merriam-Webster.com Thesaurus, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/thesaurus/disinterested. Accessed 31 Jan. 2023.

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