in·​dif·​fer·​ence in-ˈdi-f(ə-)rən(t)s How to pronounce indifference (audio)
: the quality, state, or fact of being indifferent
: absence of compulsion to or toward one thing or another
archaic : lack of difference or distinction between two or more things

Example Sentences

She was amazed that some people could watch the trial with indifference. She watched them with a cool indifference.
Recent Examples on the Web Disturbingly, the response from the local sheriff is indifference. Joanne Kaufman, WSJ, 2 Dec. 2022 The two have clashed publicly, with Zelensky accusing the Hungarian of callous indifference to the suffering of Ukrainians — a charge Orban denies. Loveday Morris, Washington Post, 26 Dec. 2022 The complaint further contends Wichita officers were deliberately indifferent to Lofton's medical needs and accuses the city of indifference in failing to train officers on dealing with juveniles and others in the throes of a mental health crisis. Roxana Hegeman, ajc, 13 June 2022 The struggle with the bull and the indifference toward leopards, respectively, may bookend a story about people learning to subdue wild creatures, the author suggests. Bybridget Alex,, 7 Dec. 2022 The indifference of Sunil Gulati, who was the president of U.S. Soccer, demonstrates how the soccer world thought of the Thorns. Kevin Draper, New York Times, 5 Oct. 2022 The indifference of Italian voters to the past, however, may have less to do with Meloni’s own personal appeal or policies than with Italy’s perennial hunger for change. Jason Horowitz,, 24 Sep. 2022 The indifference of ordinary people benefits Putin. Andrei Kolesnikov, CNN, 21 Sep. 2022 Peter still suffers the indifference of a new young paramour, Amir (Khalil Ben Gharbia), which is provocative enough for the Obergefell era. Armond White, National Review, 2 Sep. 2022 See More

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

Word History

First Known Use

15th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1

Time Traveler
The first known use of indifference was in the 15th century

Dictionary Entries Near indifference

Cite this Entry

“Indifference.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 2 Feb. 2023.

Kids Definition


in·​dif·​fer·​ence in-ˈdif-ərn(t)s How to pronounce indifference (audio)
: lack of feeling for or against something
: lack of importance
a matter of indifference to them

Medical Definition


in·​dif·​fer·​ence in-ˈdif-ərn(t)s, -ˈdif-(ə-)rən(t)s How to pronounce indifference (audio)
: the quality, state, or fact of being indifferent
a schizophrenic reaction accompanied by apathy and indifference

More from Merriam-Webster on indifference

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