[in-dif-er-uhnt, -dif-ruhnt]
See more synonyms for indifferent on
  1. without interest or concern; not caring; apathetic: his indifferent attitude toward the suffering of others.
  2. having no bias, prejudice, or preference; impartial; disinterested.
  3. neither good nor bad in character or quality; average; routine: an indifferent specimen.
  4. not particularly good, important, etc.; unremarkable; unnotable: an indifferent success; an indifferent performance.
  5. of only moderate amount, extent, etc.
  6. not making a difference, or mattering, one way or the other.
  7. immaterial or unimportant.
  8. not essential or obligatory, as an observance.
  9. making no difference or distinction, as between persons or things: indifferent justice.
  10. neutral in chemical, electric, or magnetic quality.
  11. Biology. not differentiated or specialized, as cells or tissues.
  1. an ethically or morally indifferent act.
  2. a person who is indifferent, especially in matters of religion or politics.
  1. Archaic. indifferently: I am indifferent well.

Origin of indifferent

1350–1400; Middle English (adj.) < Latin indifferent- (stem of indifferēns). See in-3, different
Related formsin·dif·fer·ent·ly, adverbqua·si-in·dif·fer·ent, adjectivequa·si-in·dif·fer·ent·ly, adverbsu·per·in·dif·fer·ent, adjectivesu·per·in·dif·fer·ent·ly, adverb

Synonyms for indifferent

See more synonyms for on Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

Related Words for indifferently

inadequately, nonchalantly, casually, coolly, poorly

Examples from the Web for indifferently

Contemporary Examples of indifferently

Historical Examples of indifferently

  • "You are welcome to your opinion," returned Robert, indifferently.

    Brave and Bold

    Horatio Alger

  • For I have seen a letter of his, and indifferently worded, as poorly spelt.

    Clarissa, Volume 1 (of 9)

    Samuel Richardson

  • "The lions have found that rhino," remarked Kingozi indifferently.

    The Leopard Woman

    Stewart Edward White

  • "Better let him go on in his own way," remarked the Judge, indifferently.

    The Underdog

    F. Hopkinson Smith

  • Information seems to reach the Valley but indifferently, Sir John.

    In the Valley

    Harold Frederic

British Dictionary definitions for indifferently


  1. (often foll by to) showing no care or concern; uninterestedhe was indifferent to my pleas
  2. unimportant; immaterial
    1. of only average or moderate size, extent, quality, etc
    2. not at all good; poor
  3. showing or having no preferences; impartial
  4. biology
    1. (of cells or tissues) not differentiated or specialized
    2. (of a species) not found in any particular community
Derived Formsindifferently, adverb

Word Origin for indifferent

C14: from Latin indifferēns making no distinction
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 indifferently

c.1400, from indifferent + -ly (2).



late 14c., "unbiased," from Old French indifferent "impartial" or directly from Latin indifferentem (nominative indifferens) "not differing, not particular, of not consequence, neither good nor evil," from in- "not, opposite of" (see in- (1)) + differens, present participle of differre "set apart" (see differ). Extended sense of "apathetic" first recorded early 15c.; that of "neither good nor bad" 1530s, on notion of "neither more nor less advantageous."

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper

indifferently in Medicine


[ĭn-dĭfər-ənt, -dĭfrənt]
  1. Characterized by a lack of partiality; unbiased.
  2. Not active or involved; neutral.
  3. Undifferentiated, as cells or tissue.
The American Heritage® Stedman's Medical Dictionary Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company.