Definition of indifference in US English:



  • 1Lack of interest, concern, or sympathy.

    ‘she shrugged, feigning indifference’
    • ‘People are not approaching them due to lack of education or indifference.’
    • ‘They misunderstand the situation: the electorate is not sunk in passive indifference, it is disgusted and enraged.’
    • ‘The issues of homelessness, lack of income and indifference to seeking medical care for the children continued.’
    • ‘She yawned broadly, then, mustering up an utter lack of indifference, pointed straight ahead.’
    • ‘That is why it said that the opposite of love is not hate but indifference, our apathy to act, our coldness in commitment.’
    • ‘He said he was frustrated by people's indifference and lack of interest in the work of the town council.’
    • ‘Storeowners look to the suburbs with varying degrees of contempt, jealousy and indifference.’
    • ‘One can affect unawareness, feign indifference or summon up some other defense against such entreaties.’
    • ‘But behind the latest official displays of concern lie the same indifference for the plight of the Asian masses.’
    • ‘All concerned proceeded with general indifference to the constitutional issues involved.’
    • ‘I tried so hard to keep a straight face but I just couldn't I went from anger to frustration to fear to indifference.’
    • ‘If international criticism or indifference does not arouse concern for how we look to others, what will?’
    • ‘One is the risk that an industry will gain a reputation of indifference to public interest.’
    • ‘Take that away, treat such feelings with indifference, even contempt, and recruitment will fall away.’
    • ‘I ran menial errands, tasted everything, and feigned indifference towards the whole process.’
    • ‘As best as he could, Thomas shrugged and his scowl gave way to feigned indifference.’
    • ‘The feeling of detached indifference had been soothing and he hated that it was slowly slipping away.’
    • ‘There can be no excuse for such indifference and lack of care about how some prisoners are treated.’
    • ‘There is a fine line between maturity, sobriety and patience, and indifference, alienation and disgust.’
    • ‘As expected, responses varied widely from impassioned anger to passive indifference.’
    lack of concern about, unconcern about, apathy about, apathy towards, nonchalance about, lack of interest in, disregard for, obliviousness to, uninvolvement in, uninvolvement with
    View synonyms
    1. 1.1 Unimportance.
      ‘it cannot be regarded as a matter of indifference’
      • ‘What happens to the Russians, what happens to the Czechs, is a matter of utter indifference to me.’
      • ‘If their teachers do not seriously try to teach history, then they will be replicas of our generation for whom history is a matter of indifference.’
      • ‘Which side is winning is a matter of complete indifference to them.’
      • ‘The difference between the sexes is no accident or matter of indifference.’
      • ‘For the woman worker it is a matter of indifference who is the ‘master’ a man or a woman.’
      • ‘It is a matter of indifference as far as the Legal Aid is concerned.’
      • ‘Dutch public schools teach children to view the sexes as equal and to regard sexual orientation as a matter of indifference.’
      • ‘Mass-murder and suffering were a matter of indifference to them.’
      • ‘What distinguishes them is not the nature of the fraud but the technical means by which it is perpetrated, and this is a matter of indifference in English law.’
      • ‘That there is no scientific evidence to support these claims is a matter of indifference to those who believe them.’
      • ‘It is not a matter of indifference to Scots how the English elect to run their education system.’


Late Middle English (in the sense ‘being neither good nor bad’): from Latin indifferentia, from in- ‘not’ + different- ‘differing, deferring’ (from the verb differre).