Definition of indifferent in English:



  • 1Having no particular interest or sympathy; unconcerned.

    ‘he gave an indifferent shrug’
    ‘most workers were indifferent to foreign affairs’
    • ‘I couldn't really feel any great sympathy for him, and felt rather indifferent to his fate.’
    • ‘This may mean the person gives up interests and hobbies or is indifferent to social conventions and to the opinions 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.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘His manner was cold and indifferent to the plight of the boy before him.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘No one I knew seemed in the indifferent middle, and the radical split in opinion was pretty much even.’
    • ‘For three grueling days the young boy had remained oblivious to his surrounding world, unresponsive and indifferent to anything and anyone around him.’
    • ‘They shared, for the most part, my apathy and were rather indifferent to the goings on in this ‘hybrid’ sport.’
    • ‘I was rather indifferent to it at the time, but twenty years on, it sounds fresh and original.’
    • ‘It was about how we have become a society which is uncaring and indifferent to one another.’
    • ‘While hardware vendors whine about the levy, consumers seem fairly indifferent.’
    • ‘A few substances were passed around, but my mom and dad are rather indifferent to anything possibly illegal going on.’
    • ‘Bloggers can express themselves in a number of ways: from contrary to confessional, indifferent to impassioned.’
    • ‘A bit of parliamentary mayhem might attract the interest of voters who are now entirely indifferent to what goes on at Holyrood.’
    • ‘The third threat level is constituted by political systems that are indifferent to the expressed interests of the majority of the world's population.’
    • ‘Positive, negative, and indifferent reactions were fairly equally common, especially at the timeof the experience.’
    • ‘The other extreme of inelegant solution is to become callous and indifferent to the suffering of others.’
    • ‘Despite his poor village origins, he is cold and indifferent to the problems confronting his family and friends.’
    • ‘He leaned on his hands and shrugged, indifferent to Curt's attitude.’
    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’
    • ‘And this time round he has indifferent designers and inferior actors.’
    • ‘Distracted by the regulatory settlement, it is easy to overlook how indifferent the company's second-quarter performance was.’
    • ‘We seem to be in a constant state of commemoration, celebrating the good, the bad, the indifferent - and that which is better forgotten.’
    • ‘The company's finance director said 2003 was a mixed year with an indifferent first six months leading to a stronger second half.’
    • ‘The photographs are of indifferent quality, the layout and design clumsy and amateurish.’
    • ‘Out of this, he has constructed a play with a rather limp beginning, a mildly interesting middle, and an indifferent conclusion.’
    • ‘And but for an indifferent second season, he has piled on runs, averaging 49.7 from 35 first-class games.’
    • ‘They got off a poor start and after an indifferent opening half really came good in the second half, getting two early points.’
    • ‘There might be one outstanding book and a few middling or indifferent ones.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘This detachment translates into filmmaking that feels indifferent and at times uninspired.’
    • ‘Beyond these couple of top tunes you see, the music fades into that bland indifferent realm of the average pop song.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘All over Britain, amateur dramatics societies are putting on shows throughout the year - some good, some bad, some plain indifferent.’
    • ‘Forget about league performances and the indifferent display against London two weeks ago.’
    mediocre, ordinary, commonplace, average, middle-of-the-road, middling, medium, moderate, everyday, workaday, tolerable, passable, adequate, fair
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    1. 2.1 Not good; fairly bad.
      ‘in spite of very indifferent weather’
      • ‘We have all got to know our fair share of weather good, bad and mostly indifferent, if it's summer in the UK.’
      • ‘His appearance differed from the passable but indifferent style I'd been used to in him, often typical of computer programmers.’
      • ‘The summer's indifferent weather was threatening profit forecasts.’
      • ‘He was a city boy, always had been, and his riding skills were fairly indifferent.’
      • ‘The indifferent weather is affecting the outcome of matches as batters are finding it hard to get any rhythm.’
      • ‘The opera was indifferent, but fairly successful with public.’
      • ‘Then she subdivided the coins in the groups into good, so-so and indifferent.’
      • ‘A more vain politician might have bemoaned the cramped conditions, the indifferent beds, the miles to be covered every day, the rushed meals.’


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).