View synonyms for apathy


[ ap-uh-thee ]


, plural ap·a·thies.
  1. absence or suppression of passion, emotion, or excitement.

    Synonyms: coolness

    Antonyms: fervor, ardor

  2. lack of interest in or concern for things that others find moving or exciting.
  3. Also ap·a·thei·a, ap·a·thi·a [] Stoicism. freedom from emotion of any kind.


/ ˈæpəθɪ /


  1. absence of interest in or enthusiasm for things generally considered interesting or moving
  2. absence of emotion

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Word History and Origins

Origin of apathy1

First recorded in 1595–1605; from French or directly from Latin apathīa, from Greek apátheia “insensibility to suffering,” equivalent to apathe- (stem of apathḗs ) “unfeeling” ( a- a- 6 + pathe-, variant stem of páthos pathos ) + -ia -ia

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Word History and Origins

Origin of apathy1

C17: from Latin, from Greek apatheia, from apathēs without feeling, from a- 1+ pathos feeling

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Synonym Study

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Example Sentences

They need to change the conversation about their team, which is full of doubt and apathy.

Men don’t have that kind of apathy for women like Dean does.

It reflects a lack of seriousness, some ambivalence and apathy on the part of the creative community and the inability of different companies to really set in place policies and procedures that would change the status quo.

From Fortune

I don’t think most psychologists would use the word “apathy.”

We all like to throw around terms that describe human behavior — “bystander apathy” and “steep learning curve” and “hard-wired.”

The dire fatalism that dominated the discourse then is gone, replaced largely with a practiced apathy.

The result is safe seats that lead to apathy and voter impotence, leading logically to ever-declining voter turnout.

And one arena in which to stage that confrontation—with madness, apathy, family dysfunction, poverty, etc.—is the theater.

Two basic characteristics not related to memory are apathy and indifference or callousness.

Silence and apathy are key ingredients to a tasty helping of bigotry.

I've been in a sort of mental apathy since I got back—the result, I suppose, of so much artistic excitement all summer.

The narrative had excited him out of his apathy and physical exhaustion, the confession shaken the rigidity from his mind.

He studied Madame Roland with even more of stoical apathy than another man would study a book which he admires.

The school-children, owing to a more liberal educational system, had lost the customary look of apathy.

From the fatal slumber of religious apathy into which the church was falling it was to be rudely awakened.


Related Words

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More About Apathy

What does apathy mean?

Apathy is the state of not caring.

The word is especially used to refer to a lack of interest or concern about things, especially those that others find important or exciting.

It can also mean the absence or suppression of emotion or passion.

Apathy often means about the same thing as indifference, but it’s more often used in the context of someone’s lack of action when action is needed.

The adjective apathetic is used to describe someone in such a state.

The word apathy is typically used in a negative way to criticize such a state or attitude as being irresponsible or insensitive. When someone is accused of apathy, it usually means the person making the accusation thinks the apathetic person should care more—or at all.

Example: The apathy of your generation is astounding—it’s like none of you care about any of the big problems in the world!

Where does apathy come from?

The first records of the word apathy come from around 1600. It comes from the Greek apathḗs, meaning “unfeeling,” from a-, “a lack of,” and pathos, “feeling.” The same root forms the basis of words such as empathy and sympathy.

Apathy doesn’t necessarily mean feeling nothing. But it’s most commonly used to refer to the state of not caring enough to do something, especially in a situation that calls for action. In this way, apathy is often thought of as an intentionally indifferent attitude that people adopt in order to avoid dealing with problems, taking on challenges, or getting involved with difficult situations.

Did you know ... ?

What are some other forms related to apathy?

What are some synonyms for apathy?

What are some words that share a root or word element with apathy

What are some words that often get used in discussing apathy?

How is apathy used in real life?

The word apathy is usually used in a way that’s critical of those said to be engaging in it.



Try using apathy!

Which of the following words is NOT a synonym of apathy?

A. indifference
B. involvement
C. unconcern
D. detachment