1. having or showing little or no emotion: apathetic behavior.
  2. 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. 2018

Examples from the Web for apathetically

Historical Examples of apathetically

  • Reluctantly, apathetically, the Leopard Woman's men got to their feet.

    The Leopard Woman

    Stewart Edward White

  • She waved her hand to them apathetically and rowed slowly on.

    A Spirit in Prison

    Robert Hichens

  • The little man paused in his painful progress to look on apathetically.

    The Trail of '98

    Robert W. Service

  • Miss Carter listened at first apathetically, then with growing interest.

    Betty Wales Senior

    Margaret Warde

  • She opened her eyes and fixed them apathetically on the strong helpful face.

    Flamsted quarries

    Mary E. Waller

British Dictionary definitions for apathetically


  1. 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 apathetically



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

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper

apathetically in Medicine


  1. 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.