Quiz: Remember the definition of mal de mer?


[ap-uh-thee] /ˈæp ə θi/
noun, plural apathies.
absence or suppression of passion, emotion, or excitement.
lack of interest in or concern for things that others find moving or exciting.
Also, apatheia, apathia
[ap-uh-thee-uh] /ˌæp əˈθi ə/ (Show IPA)
. Stoicism. freedom from emotion of any kind.
1595-1605; (< F) < Latin apathīa < Greek apátheia insensibility to suffering, equivalent to apathe- (stem of apathḗs) unfeeling (a- a-6 + pathe-, variant stem of páthos pathos) + -ia -ia
1. coolness. 2. See indifference.
1. ardor, fervor. Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2015.
Cite This Source
Examples from the web for apathy
  • Another reason for employees' apathy may be the lack of spare cash, particularly if they are not paid much.
  • Spouse apathy (if not outright derision) is not uncommon in collector households.
  • Try not to allow their apathy to affect your enthusiasm.
  • For years, student apathy has been blamed for the low turnout.
  • Last year we got the news that the new game was in development and a lot of us just shrugged our shoulders in apathy.
  • Their faces show resignation, apathy and anger.
  • Just don't let it turn into apathy and a refusal to learn how things really work.
  • But too many large neighborhood schools lose students to anonymity and apathy.
  • Bystander apathy or the power of observation, in and of itself, is not very valuable.
  • The cure for apathy is comprehension.
British Dictionary definitions for apathy


absence of interest in or enthusiasm for things generally considered interesting or moving
absence of emotion
Word Origin
C17: from Latin, from Greek apatheia, from apathēs without feeling, from a-1 + pathos feeling
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition
© William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012
Cite This Source
Word Origin and History for apathy

c.1600, "freedom from suffering," from French apathie (16c.), from Latin apathia, from Greek apatheia "freedom from suffering, impassability, want of sensation," from apathes "without feeling, without suffering or having suffered," from a- "without" (see a- (3)) + pathos "emotion, feeling, suffering" (see pathos). Originally a positive quality; sense of "indolence of mind, indifference to what should excite" is from c.1733.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
Cite This Source
apathy in Medicine

apathy ap·a·thy (āp'ə-thē)
Lack of interest, concern, or emotion; indifference.

The American Heritage® Stedman's Medical Dictionary
Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company.
Cite This Source
Encyclopedia Article for apathy

in Stoic philosophy, condition of being totally free from the pathe, which roughly are the emotions and passions, notably pain, fear, desire, and pleasure. Although remote origins of the doctrine can probably be found in the Cynics (second half of the 4th century BC), it was Zeno of Citium (4th-3rd century BC) who explicitly taught that the pathe were to be extirpated entirely.

Learn more about apathy with a free trial on
Encyclopedia Britannica, 2008. Encyclopedia Britannica Online.
Cite This Source

Word of the Day

Difficulty index for apathy

Some English speakers likely know this word

Word Value for apathy

Scrabble Words With Friends

Quotes with apathy

Nearby words for apathy