ap·​a·​thet·​ic | \ ˌa-pə-ˈthe-tik How to pronounce apathetic (audio) \

Essential Meaning of apathetic

: not having or showing much emotion or interest Young people are becoming increasingly apathetic. a politically apathetic [=indifferent, uninterested] generation See More Examplesthe apathetic attitude of the public As a teenager, he was apathetic about his future. [=he didn't care about his future] Surprisingly, most Americans are apathetic toward/about this important issue.Hide

Full Definition of apathetic

: affected by, characterized by, or displaying apathy : having or showing little or no interest, concern, or emotion apathetic voters apathetic indifference an apathetic attitude/response It's really easy to feel apathetic about politics and forget how much they affect our daily lives.— Emily Shwake NFL fans and media members are mostly apathetic toward the exhibition games.— Henry McKenna Even with Doppler radar and networks of spotters, many residents of Tornado Alley are surprisingly apathetic.— Warren Faidley She was listless, apathetic, calm with the calmness of a woman who knows she can suffer no further.— Frank Norris Children or teens who are … depressed and apathetic— Victoria L. Dunckley People with abnormally low levels of thyroid hormones (hypothyroidism) are often listless and apathetic; in fact, the symptoms may look very much like endogenous depression.— Lester Grinspoon et al. … there is no emotion and she remains apathetic to all around her.leitrimobserver.ie

Other Words from apathetic

apathetically \ ˌa-​pə-​ˈthe-​ti-​k(ə-​)lē How to pronounce apathetic (audio) \ adverb

Choose the Right Synonym for apathetic

impassive, stoic, phlegmatic, apathetic, stolid mean unresponsive to something that might normally excite interest or emotion. impassive stresses the absence of any external sign of emotion in action or facial expression. met the news with an impassive look 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 phlegmatic implies a temperament or constitution hard to arouse. a phlegmatic man unmoved by tears apathetic may imply a puzzling or deplorable indifference or inertness. charitable appeals met an apathetic response stolid implies a habitual absence of interest, responsiveness, or curiosity. stolid workers wedded to routine

Discover if You're Apathetic

Apathy, or lack of emotion, is central to Albert Camus's famous novel The Stranger, in which the main character's indifference toward almost everything, including his mother's death, results in his imprisonment. We feel little sympathy for him, and may even feel antipathy, or dislike. The American voter is often called apathetic; of all the industrial democracies, only in America does half the adult population fail to vote in major elections. As you can see, apathetic isn't the opposite of pathetic, even though the a- that it begins with means "not" or "without".

Examples of apathetic in a Sentence

But contrary to popular belief, not all jocks are as apathetic as they are athletic. One such progressive player is Toni Smith, a college basketball player who turned her back on Old Glory every time the national anthem was played before her games last season. In a written statement, she cited America's systemic inequalities as her reason for not saluting the flag. Complex, June/July 2003 The disorder is sometimes inherited via a defective gene from one parent, and patients are usually spared signs of the disorder until they reach their fifties. Because the brain-cell loss occurs in parts of the brain that help regulate social behavior, personality changes are the most common manifestations of the illness. Patients tend to become either uninhibited or apathetic. — Bruce L. Miller, Discover, January 1998 But in cities such as Boston, Cincinnati, Oakland, San Francisco, and Seattle, reformers are trying to recharge an apathetic electorate by taking aim at the very process of voting itself. — Wilma Rule et al., Ms., September/October 1996 Young people are becoming increasingly apathetic. the apathetic attitude of the public Surprisingly, most Americans are apathetic toward this important issue.
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Recent Examples on the Web But worst of all, Mullen’s Florida team looked apathetic and listless against South Carolina, a damning indictment on the head coach given all his antics in the lead up which included canceling player media availability to focus on the game. John Talty | Jtalty@al.com, al, 7 Nov. 2021 Because previous owners didn’t see a viable future thanks to an apathetic public. Anthony Hennen, National Review, 26 Oct. 2021 But the new owners face difficulties beyond player strikeouts, as baseball and other sports struggle to attract young people, a group increasingly apathetic to live games. Alexandra Bruell, WSJ, 27 Sep. 2021 Tokyo logged a record number of coronavirus cases this week, burdening the hospital system amid a slow vaccine rollout, an increasingly apathetic public and the government’s unsuccessful efforts to restrict the spread of the delta variant. Washington Post, 7 Aug. 2021 Her daughter became unfocused, apathetic and spent most of her time looking at videos on her phone. Washington Post, 12 Sep. 2021 Over the summer, as the recall campaign kicked into higher gear, Democratic voters were apathetic toward the race, which was happening in the midst of California's raging wildfires and historic drought. Dan Merica, CNN, 15 Sep. 2021 Some peoples are more concerned, and some are more apathetic. Frederick Daso, Forbes, 16 June 2021 McAuliffe, in an attempt to jolt apathetic Democratic voters just weeks out from the off-year election, has called on a number of top politicians to help him in his bid to win a second term as Virginia's governor. Dan Merica, CNN, 15 Oct. 2021

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'apathetic.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

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First Known Use of apathetic

1692, in the meaning defined above

History and Etymology for apathetic

borrowed from New Latin apathēticus, from a- a- entry 2 + pathēticus pathetic, after apathīa apathy

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The first known use of apathetic was in 1692

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Last Updated

24 Nov 2021

Cite this Entry

“Apathetic.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/apathetic. Accessed 6 Dec. 2021.

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More Definitions for apathetic


ap·​a·​thet·​ic | \ ˌap-ə-ˈthet-ik How to pronounce apathetic (audio) \

Medical Definition of apathetic

: having or showing little or no feeling or emotion

Other Words from apathetic

apathetically \ -​i-​k(ə-​)lē How to pronounce apathetic (audio) \ adverb

More from Merriam-Webster on apathetic

Nglish: Translation of apathetic for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of apathetic for Arabic Speakers


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