Try Our Apps


Avoid these words. Seriously.


[dis-in-tuh-res-tid, -tri-stid] /dɪsˈɪn təˌrɛs tɪd, -trɪ stɪd/
unbiased by personal interest or advantage; not influenced by selfish motives:
a disinterested decision by the referee.
not interested; indifferent.
Origin of disinterested
First recorded in 1605-15; dis-1 + interested
Related forms
disinterestedly, adverb
disinterestedness, noun
nondisinterested, adjective
Can be confused
disinterested, uninterested (see usage note at the current entry)
1. impartial, neutral, unprejudiced, dispassionate. See fair1 .
1. partial, biased.
Usage note
Disinterested and uninterested share a confused and confusing history. Disinterested was originally used to mean “not interested, indifferent”; uninterested in its earliest use meant “impartial.” By various developmental twists, disinterested is now used in both senses. Uninterested is used mainly in the sense “not interested, indifferent.” It is occasionally used to mean “not having a personal or property interest.”
Many object to the use of disinterested to mean “not interested, indifferent.” They insist that disinterested can mean only “impartial”: A disinterested observer is the best judge of behavior. However, both senses are well established in all varieties of English, and the sense intended is almost always clear from the context. Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018.
Cite This Source
Examples from the Web for disinterestedly
Historical Examples
  • You spoke to me, disinterestedly, on behalf of—I needn't name him.

  • Lady Leonora also wished extremely, and disinterestedly, for your company.

  • Lucius respects my father too much for that—and too disinterestedly.

    The Lion's Brood

    Duffield Osborne
  • They loved and were beloved—openly, devotedly, sincerely, disinterestedly.


    Martin Farquhar Tupper
  • I asked, trying to put the question as disinterestedly as possible.

    Major Frank A. L. G. Bosboom-Toussaint
  • There was a general inspection, during which the boys looked on disinterestedly.

    Blue Bonnet in Boston Caroline E. Jacobs
  • Reuben then had known the whole, and had been disinterestedly generous.

  • I believed him; I loved him,—loved him truly and disinterestedly.

    Pride Eugne Sue
  • One must act "disinterestedly," not want to benefit himself, but the State.

    The Ego and His Own Max Stirner
  • Lady Leonora also wished extremely and disinterestedly for your company.

    Leonora Maria Edgeworth
British Dictionary definitions for disinterestedly


/dɪsˈɪntrɪstɪd; -tərɪs-/
free from bias or partiality; objective
not interested
Derived Forms
disinterestedly, adverb
disinterestedness, noun
Usage note
Many people consider that the use of disinterested to mean not interested is incorrect and that uninterested should be used
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 disinterestedly



1610s, "unconcerned," the sense we now would ascribe to uninterested, with the sense of "impartial" going to disinteressed (c.1600). See dis- + interest. Modern sense of disinterested is first attested 1650s. As things now stand, disinterested means "free from personal bias," while uninterested means "caring nothing for the matter in question." Related: Disinterestedly; disinterestedness.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
Cite This Source

Word of the Day

Nearby words for disinterestedly

Word Value for disinterestedly

Scrabble Words With Friends