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[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.
Origin of apathy
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. 2018.
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Examples from the Web for apathy
Contemporary Examples
Historical Examples
  • Now, she was sunken in an apathy that saved her from the worst pangs of misery.

    Within the Law Marvin Dana
  • She had drawn a shawl over her head and was sunk in the apathy of despair or drink.

    The Greater Inclination Edith Wharton
  • I remember for the most part only a dull agony, interchanging with apathy.

    Wilfrid Cumbermede George MacDonald
  • My apathy was attacked with gradually increasing energy of praise.

  • She did not speak again, falling back into her former state of apathy.

    Doctor Pascal Emile Zola
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
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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
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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.
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