Definition of indifferent in English:


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  • 1Having no particular interest or sympathy; unconcerned.

    ‘most workers were indifferent to foreign affairs’
    • ‘they all seemed indifferent rather than angry’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘I was rather indifferent to it at the time, but twenty years on, it sounds fresh and original.’
    • ‘Some, rather than being simply indifferent to the well-being of others, have an urgent need to make others feel agony and humiliation.’
    • ‘They shared, for the most part, my apathy and were rather indifferent to the goings on in this ‘hybrid’ sport.’
    • ‘He leaned on his hands and shrugged, indifferent to Curt's attitude.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘It was about how we have become a society which is uncaring and indifferent to one another.’
    • ‘For three grueling days the young boy had remained oblivious to his surrounding world, unresponsive and indifferent to anything and anyone around him.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘A bit of parliamentary mayhem might attract the interest of voters who are now entirely indifferent to what goes on at Holyrood.’
    • ‘Despite his poor village origins, he is cold and indifferent to the problems confronting his family and friends.’
    • ‘His manner was cold and indifferent to the plight of the boy before him.’
    • ‘The other extreme of inelegant solution is to become callous and indifferent to the suffering of others.’
    • ‘This may mean the person gives up interests and hobbies or is indifferent to social conventions and to the opinions of others.’
    • ‘While hardware vendors whine about the levy, consumers seem fairly indifferent.’
    • ‘Positive, negative, and indifferent reactions were fairly equally common, especially at the timeof the experience.’
    • ‘No one I knew seemed in the indifferent middle, and the radical split in opinion was pretty much even.’
    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.

    ‘attempts to distinguish between good, bad, and indifferent work’
    • ‘And but for an indifferent second season, he has piled on runs, averaging 49.7 from 35 first-class games.’
    • ‘Distracted by the regulatory settlement, it is easy to overlook how indifferent the company's second-quarter performance was.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘For such a naturally gifted spinner of the ball, he had a disappointing Test career, taking 121 wickets at an indifferent average of 37.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘There might be one outstanding book and a few middling or indifferent ones.’
    • ‘Beyond these couple of top tunes you see, the music fades into that bland indifferent realm of the average pop song.’
    • ‘This detachment translates into filmmaking that feels indifferent and at times uninspired.’
    • ‘The company's finance director said 2003 was a mixed year with an indifferent first six months leading to a stronger second half.’
    • ‘They got off a poor start and after an indifferent opening half really came good in the second half, getting two early points.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘We seem to be in a constant state of commemoration, celebrating the good, the bad, the indifferent - and that which is better forgotten.’
    • ‘His indifferent first touch denied him a second.’
    • ‘Forget about league performances and the indifferent display against London two weeks ago.’
    • ‘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.’
    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.
      ‘a pair of indifferent watercolors’
      • ‘The opera was indifferent, but fairly successful with public.’
      • ‘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 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.’
      • ‘His appearance differed from the passable but indifferent style I'd been used to in him, often typical of computer programmers.’
      • ‘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.’
  • 3Neutral in respect of some specified physical property.

    1. 3.1Biology archaic Not specialized; undifferentiated.



/inˈdif(ə)rənt/ /ɪnˈdɪf(ə)rənt/


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).