What does indifferent mean?

Definitions for indifferent
ɪnˈdɪf ər ənt, -ˈdɪf rəntin·dif·fer·ent

This dictionary definitions page includes all the possible meanings, example usage and translations of the word indifferent.

Princeton's WordNet

  1. apathetic, indifferentadjective

    marked by a lack of interest

    "an apathetic audience"; "the universe is neither hostile nor friendly; it is simply indifferent"

  2. indifferentadjective

    showing no care or concern in attitude or action

    "indifferent to the sufferings of others"; "indifferent to her plea"

  3. deaf(p), indifferent(p)adjective

    (usually followed by `to') unwilling or refusing to pay heed

    "deaf to her warnings"

  4. immaterial, indifferentadjective

    (often followed by `to') lacking importance; not mattering one way or the other

    "whether you choose to do it or not is a matter that is quite immaterial (or indifferent)"; "what others think is altogether indifferent to him"

  5. indifferentadjective

    fairly poor to not very good

    "has an indifferent singing voice"; "has indifferent qualifications for the job"

  6. inert, indifferent, neutraladjective

    having only a limited ability to react chemically; chemically inactive

    "inert matter"; "an indifferent chemical in a reaction"

  7. indifferentadjective

    marked by no especial liking or dislike or preference for one thing over another

    "indifferent about which book you would give them"; "was indifferent to their acceptance or rejection of her invitation"

  8. indifferent, unbiased, unbiassedadjective

    characterized by a lack of partiality

    "a properly indifferent jury"; "an unbiasgoted account of her family problems"

  9. indifferent, so-so(p)adjective

    being neither good nor bad

    "an indifferent performance"; "a gifted painter but an indifferent actor"; "her work at the office is passable"; "a so-so golfer"; "feeling only so-so"; "prepared a tolerable dinner"; "a tolerable working knowledge of French"

  10. indifferentadjective

    neither too great nor too little

    "a couple of indifferent hills to climb"


  1. indifferentadverb

    To some extent, in some degree (intermediate between very and not at all); moderately, tolerably, fairly.

    The face of the Moon appearing to me to be full of indifferent high mountains...

  2. indifferentadjective

    Not caring or concerned; uninterested, apathetic.

    He was indifferent to the proposal, since it didn't affect him, either way.

  3. indifferentadjective

    Mediocre, usually used negatively in modern usage.

  4. indifferentadjective

    Having no preference or bias, being impartial.

    I am indifferent between the two plans.

  5. indifferentadjective

    Not significant in size or amount, immaterial.

    Even if one appliance consumes an indifferent amount of energy when left on stand-by overnight, together they can represent 10% of the electricity demand of a household.

  6. indifferentadjective

    Being in the state of neutral equilibrium.

Samuel Johnson's Dictionary

  1. INDIFFERENTadjective

    Etymology: indifferent, Fr. indifferens, Latin.

    Doth his majesty
    Incline to it or no?
    —— He seems indifferent. William Shakespeare, Henry V.

    Being indifferent, we should receive and embrace opinions according as evidence gives the attestation of truth. John Locke.

    Let guilt or fear
    Disturb man's rest; Cato knows neither of them:
    Indifferent in his choice to sleep or die. Joseph Addison, Cato.

    One thing was all to you, and your fondness made you indifferent to every thing else. William Temple.

    It was a remarkable law of Solon, that any person who, in the civil commotions of the republick, remained neuter, or an indifferent spectator of the contending parties, should be condemned to perpetual banishment. Joseph Addison, Freeholder.

    But how indifferent soever man may be to eternal happiness, yet surely to eternal misery none can be indifferent. John Rogers.

    The nature of things indifferent is neither to be commanded nor forbidden, but left free and arbitrary. Richard Hooker.

    These two customs, which of themselves are indifferent in other kingdoms, became exceeding evil in this realm, by reason of the inconveniences which followed thereupon. Davies.

    Though at first it was free, and in my choice whether or no I should publish these discourses; yet, the publication being once resolved, the dedication was not so indifferent. South.

    This I mention only as my conjecture, it being indifferent to the matter in hand which way the learned shall determine. John Locke.

    Medcalfe was partial to none, but indifferent to all; a master for the whole, and a father to every one. Roger Ascham.

    I am a most poor woman, and a stranger,
    Born out of your dominions; having here
    No judge indiff'rent, and no more assurance
    Of equal friendship and proceeding. William Shakespeare, Hen. VIII.

    There can hardly be an indifferent trial had between the king and the subject, or between party and party, by reason of this general kindred and consanguinity. Davies.

    Some things admit of mediocrity:
    A counsellor, or pleader at the bar,
    May want Messala's pow'rful eloquence,
    Or be less read than deep Casselius;
    Yet this indiff'rent lawyer is esteem'd. Wentworth Dillon.

    Who would excel, when few can make a test
    Betwixt indiff'rent writing and the best? Dryden.

    This has obliged me to publish an indifferent collection of poems, for fear of being thought the author of a worse. Matthew Prior.

    There is not one of these subjects that would not sell a very indifferent paper, could I think of gratifying the publick by such mean and base methods. Addison.

    I am myself indifferent honest; but yet I could accuse me of such things, that it were better that my mother had not borne me. William Shakespeare, Hamlet.

    This will raise a great scum on it, and leave your wine indifferent clear. John Mortimer.


  1. indifferent

    Indifferent refers to the lack of interest, concern or sympathy towards something or someone. It describes a state of being uninvolved, not caring or being neutral about a specific situation or subject.

Webster Dictionary

  1. Indifferentadjective

    not mal/ing a difference; having no influence or preponderating weight; involving no preference, concern, or attention; of no account; without significance or importance

  2. Indifferentadjective

    neither particularly good, not very bad; of a middle state or quality; passable; mediocre

  3. Indifferentadjective

    not inclined to one side, party, or choice more than to another; neutral; impartial

  4. Indifferentadjective

    feeling no interest, anxiety, or care, respecting anything; unconcerned; inattentive; apathetic; heedless; as, to be indifferent to the welfare of one's family

  5. Indifferentadjective

    free from bias or prejudice; impartial; unbiased; disinterested

  6. Indifferentadverb

    to a moderate degree; passably; tolerably

  7. Etymology: [F. indiffrent, L. indifferens. See In- not, and Different.]

Chambers 20th Century Dictionary

  1. Indifferent

    in-dif′ėr-ent, adj. without importance: uninteresting: of a middle quality: neutral: unconcerned.—n. one who is indifferent or apathetic: that which is indifferent.—ns. Indiff′erence, Indiff′erency, Indiff′erentism, indifference: (theol.) the doctrine that religious differences are of no moment: (metaph.) the doctrine of absolute identity—i.e. that to be in thought and to exist are one and the same thing; Indiff′erentist.—adv. Indiff′erently, in an indifferent manner: tolerably: passably: without distinction, impartially.

Matched Categories

How to pronounce indifferent?

How to say indifferent in sign language?


  1. Chaldean Numerology

    The numerical value of indifferent in Chaldean Numerology is: 3

  2. Pythagorean Numerology

    The numerical value of indifferent in Pythagorean Numerology is: 2

Examples of indifferent in a Sentence

  1. Pope Francis:

    The Church, in her wisdom, maintains the distinction between engaged and married couples -- they are not the same, today's culture and society have become rather indifferent to the delicate and serious nature of this passage.

  2. Benjamin Disraeli:

    We live in an age when to be young and indifferent can no longer be synonymous. We must prepare for the coming hour. The claims of the Future are represented by suffering millions and the Youth of a Nation are the trustees of Posterity.

  3. Shawn Anglim:

    It is divisive and you can't ignore monuments. You can't be indifferent to them, i believe we are in a moment and that many people are feeling it.

  4. Benedict XVI:

    Can we remain indifferent before the problems associated with such realities as climate change?

  5. Richard Dawkins:

    Nature is not cruel, pitilessly, indifferent. This is one of the hardest lessons for humans to learn. We cannot admit that things might be neither good nor evil, neither cruel nor kind, but simply callous -- indifferent to all suffering, lacking all purpose.

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"indifferent." Definitions.net. STANDS4 LLC, 2023. Web. 2 Oct. 2023. <https://www.definitions.net/definition/indifferent>.

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    something many people believe that is false
    • A. nuisance
    • B. fancy
    • C. mediocrity
    • D. plantation

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