having or showing little or no emotion: apathetic behavior.
not interested or concerned; indifferent or unresponsive: an apathetic audience.

Also ap·a·thet·i·cal.

Origin of apathetic

First recorded in 1735–45; apath(y) + (path)etic
Related formsap·a·thet·i·cal·ly, adverb

Synonyms for apathetic

Antonyms for apathetic

Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

Examples from the Web for apathetic

Contemporary Examples of apathetic

Historical Examples of apathetic

  • But he was, to some degree, apathetic from over-much misery.

    Within the Law

    Marvin Dana

  • He, like his rag-weed, had settled down to an apathetic jog.


    Mr. and Mrs. Haldeman-Julius

  • Walter shot a hard look at his apathetic sister, then turned to his father.

    Alice Adams

    Booth Tarkington

  • Louisa had listened to this discourse with apathetic patience.

    The Market-Place

    Harold Frederic

  • As to the Rubber corner itself, the Stock Exchange as a whole was apathetic.

    The Market-Place

    Harold Frederic

British Dictionary definitions for apathetic



having or showing little or no emotion; indifferent
Derived Formsapathetically, adverb

Word Origin for apathetic

C18: from apathy + pathetic
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

Word Origin and History for apathetic

1744, from apathy + -ic, on model of pathetic.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper

apathetic in Medicine




Lacking interest or concern; indifferent.
Related formsap′a•theti•cal•ly adv.
The American Heritage® Stedman's Medical Dictionary Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company.