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

c.1400, from indifferent + -ly (2).


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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