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[in-dif-er-uh ns, -dif-ruh ns] /ɪnˈdɪf ər əns, -ˈdɪf rəns/
lack of interest or concern:
We were shocked by their indifference toward poverty.
unimportance; little or no concern:
Whether or not to attend the party is a matter of indifference to him.
the quality or condition of being indifferent.
mediocre quality; mediocrity.
Origin of indifference
1400-50; late Middle English, variant of indifferency < Latin indifferentia. See indifferent, -ence, -ency
Related forms
superindifference, noun
1. Indifference, unconcern, listlessness, apathy, insensibility all imply lack of feeling. Indifference denotes an absence of feeling or interest; unconcern, an absence of concern or solicitude, a calm or cool indifference in the face of what might be expected to cause uneasiness or apprehension; listlessness, an absence of inclination or interest, a languid indifference to what is going on about one; apathy, a profound intellectual and emotional indifference suggestive of faculties either naturally sluggish or dulled by emotional disturbance, mental illness, or prolonged sickness; insensibility, an absence of capacity for feeling or of susceptibility to emotional influences.
1. eagerness, responsiveness. Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2015.
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Examples from the Web for indifference
Contemporary Examples
Historical Examples
  • Vidal was, you see, a great poet and it was not proper to treat a great poet with indifference.

    The Good Soldier Ford Madox Ford
  • All else is but the setting, and the eye sweeps with indifference the line of unpeopled rocks.

    Malbone Thomas Wentworth Higginson
  • But Shenac put his words aside with a gesture of indifference.

    Shenac's Work at Home Margaret Murray Robertson
  • The husband went on speaking with no apparent heed of his wife's indifference.

    Within the Law Marvin Dana
  • This “kindness” is the most powerful solvent of illwill and indifference.

British Dictionary definitions for indifference


/ɪnˈdɪfrəns; -fərəns/
the fact or state of being indifferent; lack of care or concern
lack of quality; mediocrity
lack of importance; insignificance
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
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Word Origin and History for indifference

mid-15c., from Latin indifferentia "want of difference, similarity," noun of quality from indifferentem (see indifferent).

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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