Definition of indifferent in English:



  • 1Having no particular interest or sympathy; unconcerned.

    ‘he gave an indifferent shrug’
    ‘most workers were indifferent to foreign affairs’
    • ‘No one I knew seemed in the indifferent middle, and the radical split in opinion was pretty much even.’
    • ‘They shared, for the most part, my apathy and were rather indifferent to the goings on in this ‘hybrid’ sport.’
    • ‘For three grueling days the young boy had remained oblivious to his surrounding world, unresponsive and indifferent to anything and anyone around him.’
    • ‘This may mean the person gives up interests and hobbies or is indifferent to social conventions and to the opinions of others.’
    • ‘It was about how we have become a society which is uncaring and indifferent to one another.’
    • ‘He leaned on his hands and shrugged, indifferent to Curt's attitude.’
    • ‘The other extreme of inelegant solution is to become callous and indifferent to the suffering of others.’
    • ‘I was rather indifferent to it at the time, but twenty years on, it sounds fresh and original.’
    • ‘While hardware vendors whine about the levy, consumers seem fairly indifferent.’
    • ‘Our tolerant attitude is often little more than lack of interest or disbelief; we are as indifferent to our own beliefs as to those of others.’
    • ‘Some, rather than being simply indifferent to the well-being of others, have an urgent need to make others feel agony and humiliation.’
    • ‘I couldn't really feel any great sympathy for him, and felt rather indifferent to his fate.’
    • ‘The third threat level is constituted by political systems that are indifferent to the expressed interests of the majority of the world's population.’
    • ‘One of the main reasons they have risen to such prominence is the fact that the police are at best indifferent to them and, at worst, actively sympathize.’
    • ‘A few substances were passed around, but my mom and dad are rather indifferent to anything possibly illegal going on.’
    • ‘Positive, negative, and indifferent reactions were fairly equally common, especially at the timeof the experience.’
    • ‘His manner was cold and indifferent to the plight of the boy before him.’
    • ‘Despite his poor village origins, he is cold and indifferent to the problems confronting his family and friends.’
    • ‘A bit of parliamentary mayhem might attract the interest of voters who are now entirely indifferent to what goes on at Holyrood.’
    • ‘Bloggers can express themselves in a number of ways: from contrary to confessional, indifferent to impassioned.’
    unconcerned about, apathetic about, apathetic towards, uncaring about, casual about, nonchalant about, offhand about, uninterested in, uninvolved in, uninvolved with
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  • 2Neither good nor bad; mediocre.

    ‘a pair of indifferent watercolours’
    • ‘They got off a poor start and after an indifferent opening half really came good in the second half, getting two early points.’
    • ‘Beyond these couple of top tunes you see, the music fades into that bland indifferent realm of the average pop song.’
    • ‘Distracted by the regulatory settlement, it is easy to overlook how indifferent the company's second-quarter performance was.’
    • ‘After being the surprise package of last season, it would be fair to say that it's been an indifferent start this time round for the team.’
    • ‘The photographs are of indifferent quality, the layout and design clumsy and amateurish.’
    • ‘There might be one outstanding book and a few middling or indifferent ones.’
    • ‘Forget about league performances and the indifferent display against London two weeks ago.’
    • ‘All over Britain, amateur dramatics societies are putting on shows throughout the year - some good, some bad, some plain indifferent.’
    • ‘And this time round he has indifferent designers and inferior actors.’
    • ‘The company's finance director said 2003 was a mixed year with an indifferent first six months leading to a stronger second half.’
    • ‘What we definitely did see was indifferent bowling and fielding in the first half, and indifferent batting in the second.’
    • ‘Too many of his roles were simply indifferent, and the Pink Panther films slid into mediocrity.’
    • ‘This detachment translates into filmmaking that feels indifferent and at times uninspired.’
    • ‘And but for an indifferent second season, he has piled on runs, averaging 49.7 from 35 first-class games.’
    • ‘We seem to be in a constant state of commemoration, celebrating the good, the bad, the indifferent - and that which is better forgotten.’
    • ‘Out of this, he has constructed a play with a rather limp beginning, a mildly interesting middle, and an indifferent conclusion.’
    • ‘For such a naturally gifted spinner of the ball, he had a disappointing Test career, taking 121 wickets at an indifferent average of 37.’
    • ‘His indifferent first touch denied him a second.’
    mediocre, ordinary, commonplace, average, middle-of-the-road, middling, medium, moderate, everyday, workaday, tolerable, passable, adequate, fair
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    1. 2.1Not good; fairly bad.
      ‘in spite of very indifferent weather’
      • ‘He was a city boy, always had been, and his riding skills were fairly indifferent.’
      • ‘The summer's indifferent weather was threatening profit forecasts.’
      • ‘We have all got to know our fair share of weather good, bad and mostly indifferent, if it's summer in the UK.’
      • ‘Then she subdivided the coins in the groups into good, so-so and indifferent.’
      • ‘The indifferent weather is affecting the outcome of matches as batters are finding it hard to get any rhythm.’
      • ‘His appearance differed from the passable but indifferent style I'd been used to in him, often typical of computer programmers.’
      • ‘A more vain politician might have bemoaned the cramped conditions, the indifferent beds, the miles to be covered every day, the rushed meals.’
      • ‘The opera was indifferent, but fairly successful with public.’


Late Middle English (in the sense ‘having no partiality for or against’): via Old French from Latin indifferent- not making any difference, from in- not + different- differing (see different).