1 a : not having the mind or feelings engaged : not interested
b : no longer interested
2 : free from selfish motive or interest : unbiased
Did You Know?
"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 sense of "disinterested" describing someone not having the mind or feelings engaged also disappeared, only to have "uninterested" take its place. The original sense of "uninterested" is still out of use, but the original ("not interested") sense of "disinterested" revived in the early 20th century. The revival has come under frequent attack as an illiteracy and a blurring or loss of a useful distinction. However, actual usage shows that writers and speakers use these words with intention. For instance, a writer may choose "disinterested" in preference to "uninterested" for emphasis, as in "a supremely disinterested child." Further, "disinterested" has developed a sense meaning "no longer interested," which is clearly distinguishable from "uninterested."
To avoid any conflicts of interest, the company hired disinterested consultants to determine how to reorganize the company most efficiently.
"It received only four sparsely attended performances in Handel's lifetime because Protestant Londoners were disinterested in a heroine who was a Roman Catholic saint and they missed the uplifting choruses and jubilant interludes featured in earlier oratorios like 'Messiah.'" - From a music review by Vivien Schweitzer in The New York Times, February 4, 2014
Test Your Vocabulary with M-W Quizzes
Name That Synonym
Fill in the blanks to create a synonym of "disinterested": idfee_t . The answer is …
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