1. without interest or concern; not caring; apathetic: his indifferent attitude toward the suffering of others.
  2. having no bias, prejudice, or preference; impartial; disinterested.
  3. neither good nor bad in character or quality; average; routine: an indifferent specimen.
  4. not particularly good, important, etc.; unremarkable; unnotable: an indifferent success; an indifferent performance.
  5. of only moderate amount, extent, etc.
  6. not making a difference, or mattering, one way or the other.
  7. immaterial or unimportant.
  8. not essential or obligatory, as an observance.
  9. making no difference or distinction, as between persons or things: indifferent justice.
  10. neutral in chemical, electric, or magnetic quality.
  11. Biology. not differentiated or specialized, as cells or tissues.


  1. an ethically or morally indifferent act.
  2. a person who is indifferent, especially in matters of religion or politics.


  1. Archaic. indifferently: I am indifferent well.


  1. (often foll by to) showing no care or concern; uninterestedhe was indifferent to my pleas
  2. unimportant; immaterial
    1. of only average or moderate size, extent, quality, etc
    2. not at all good; poor
  3. showing or having no preferences; impartial
  4. biology
    1. (of cells or tissues) not differentiated or specialized
    2. (of a species) not found in any particular community

late 14c., “unbiased,” from Old French indifferent “impartial” or directly from Latin indifferentem (nominative indifferens) “not differing, not particular, of not consequence, neither good nor evil,” from in- “not, opposite of” (see in- (1)) + differens, present participle of differre “set apart” (see differ). Extended sense of “apathetic” first recorded early 15c.; that of “neither good nor bad” 1530s, on notion of “neither more nor less advantageous.”


  1. Characterized by a lack of partiality; unbiased.
  2. Not active or involved; neutral.
  3. Undifferentiated, as cells or tissue.

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