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Longman Dictionary of Contemporary English
▪ I found myself wondering if he were really as indifferent as his expression and few comments suggested.
▪ Charles is not as indifferent to paintings as he pretends.
▪ He thrust up two fingers in triumph at the driver, an old man who was as indifferent as a waxwork.
▪ If she had really been as indifferent as she had pretended to be, then she wouldn't have reacted at all.
▪ Was he perhaps not quite as indifferent to her as he had pretended after all?
▪ Cultivation: Very indifferent as to planting medium.
▪ Cultivation: Very indifferent as to its growing medium, it will even grow in fine gravel or unwashed sand.
▪ Other requirements: Light: Subdued light, though it is very indifferent to any other conditions.
▪ Water condition: Very indifferent to conditions, but medium hard water with slight acidity is preferred.
▪ Cultivation: Very indifferent to conditions, though it will relish a planting medium consisting of nutritious detritus.
▪ Water condition: Very indifferent to water hardness, but prefers a slightly acid to neutral condition.
▪ Other requirements: Light: Very indifferent, but moderate illumination suitable.
▪ Cultivation: This plant is very indifferent to the tank bottom and will grow well even on bare gravel.
▪ Her father was quite friendly, but her mother seemed somewhat cold and indifferent.
▪ His opponents have tried to characterize him as indifferent to the concerns of the working class.
▪ The service at the restaurant was indifferent at best.
▪ In doing so they are indifferent to the macroeconomic effects of their decision.
▪ Is he more than just a basher of indifferent bowling, of which there is currently plenty?
▪ It is a fatal error to assume that lowering the price makes an indifferent product saleable to a general market.
▪ It is tough to reform something that is shapeless and indifferent to improvement, like Jell-O in the hands of a carpenter.
▪ It seemed to me he was not so much indifferent as hostile towards these poor men.
▪ She emanated worldliness and the self-confidence of one who is indifferent to everything but her own needs and caprices.
▪ The rural scene was so peaceful and indifferent to my predicament.
The Collaborative International Dictionary

Indifferent \In*dif"fer*ent\, a. [F. indiff['e]rent, L. indifferens. See In- not, and Different.]

  1. Not making a difference; having no influence or preponderating weight; involving no preference, concern, or attention; of no account; without significance or importance.

    Dangers are to me indifferent.

    Everything in the world is indifferent but sin.
    --Jer. Taylor.

    His slightest and most indifferent acts . . . were odious in the clergyman's sight.

  2. Neither particularly good, not very bad; of a middle state or quality; passable; mediocre.

    The staterooms are in indifferent order.
    --Sir W. Scott.

  3. Not inclined to one side, party, or choice more than to another; neutral; impartial.

    Indifferent in his choice to sleep or die.

  4. Feeling no interest, anxiety, or care, respecting anything; unconcerned; inattentive; apathetic; heedless; as, to be indifferent to the welfare of one's family.

    It was a law of Solon, that any person who, in the civil commotions of the republic, remained neuter, or an indifferent spectator of the contending parties, should be condemned to perpetual banishment.

  5. (Law) Free from bias or prejudice; impartial; unbiased; disinterested.

    In choice of committees for ripening business for the counsel, it is better to choose indifferent persons than to make an indifferency by putting in those that are strong on both sides.

    Indifferent tissue (Anat.), the primitive, embryonic, undifferentiated tissue, before conversion into connective, muscular, nervous, or other definite tissue.


Indifferent \In*dif"fer*ent\, adv. To a moderate degree; passably; tolerably. [Obs.] ``News indifferent good.''

Douglas Harper's Etymology Dictionary

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."


a. 1 Not caring or concerned; uninterested, apathetic. 2 mediocre, usually used negatively in modern usage. 3 Having no preference or bias, being impartial. 4 Not making a difference; without significance or importance. 5 (context mechanics English) Being in the state of neutral equilibrium. adv. (context obsolete English) To some extent, in some degree (intermediate between ''very'' and ''not at all''); moderately, tolerably, fairly.

  1. adj. marked by a lack of interest; "an apathetic audience"; "the universe is neither hostile nor friendly; it is simply indifferent" [syn: apathetic]

  2. showing no care or concern in attitude or action; "indifferent to the sufferings of others"; "indifferent to her plea"

  3. (usually followed by `to') unwilling or refusing to pay heed; "deaf to her warnings" [syn: deaf(p), indifferent(p)]

  4. (often followed by `to') lacking importance; not mattering one way or the other; "whether you choose to do it or not is a matter that is quite immaterial (or indifferent)"; "what others think is altogether indifferent to him" [syn: immaterial]

  5. fairly poor to not very good; "has an indifferent singing voice"; "has indifferent qualifications for the job"

  6. having only a limited ability to react chemically; not active; "inert matter"; "an indifferent chemical in a reaction" [syn: inert, neutral]

  7. marked by no especial liking or dislike or preference for one thing over another; "indifferent about which book you would give them"; "was indifferent to their acceptance or rejection of her invitation"

  8. characterized by a lack of partiality; "a properly indifferent jury"; "an unbiased account of her family problems" [syn: unbiased, unbiassed]

  9. neither good nor bad; "an indifferent performance"; "a gifted painter but an indifferent actor"; "her work at the office is passable"; "a so-so golfer"; "feeling only so-so"; "prepared a tolerable dinner"; "a tolerable working knowledge of French" [syn: passable, so-so(p), tolerable]

  10. neither too great nor too little; "a couple of indifferent hills to climb"

Usage examples of "indifferent".

Her companions were threaded along the trunk behind her, moving easily: the widow Philas apparently indifferent to her surroundings, Farr with his eyecups wide and staring, his mouth wide open and his chest straining at the thin Air, and dear old Adda at the back, his spear clasped before him, his good eye constantly sweeping the complex darkness around them.

With Aesculus the tips were quite indifferent to bodies attached to them, though sensitive to caustic.

I, however, spoke to her quietly of indifferent things, and recovering her composure she answered me, speaking of her gloves, which she was folding on the pier-table.

You know I am indifferent in regard to all religions, and I assuredly have no love for Athanasian Christians.

But, in developing it, its protagonists have moved away from how biological brains and psychological minds might work and instead concentrated on solving problems embedded in the silicon of computer chips and in mathematical logic - an approach which may produce bigger and better machines, but has become entirely indifferent to their relationship with the biological systems they were once attempting to model.

Lubin, Brander, Caraco have appeared at the edges of her vision, drifting into the room like indifferent wraiths.

They returned to Wrentham in September 1916 deeply discouraged by the indifferent reception they had been given on their summer Chautauqua tour.

Though not indifferent to the pleasures of the table, I was far from resigning myself to the Circean life led by the generality of young military men in the Bahamas.

She saw everything and talked about everything she saw, quite indifferent as to whether or no Condy listened.

Suddenly the music stopped, and flushed, laughing, and fanning themselves with their pocket handkerchiefs, the Crabapple Blossoms flung themselves down on the floor, against a pile of bulging sacks in one of the corners, indifferent for probably the first time in their lives to possible damage to their frocks.

He further argued that, in the absence of a US demarche to Athens, warning the dictators to desist, it might be assumed that the United States was indifferent to this.

Miss Dunstable once said to Mrs Harold Smith that it was possible that she might marry, the only condition then expressed being this, that the man elected should be one who was quite indifferent as to money.

But if, reverend Judges, you deem this equipoised, indifferent lanthorn to be indeed blameworthy for having shown in the same moment, side by side, the skull and the fair face, the burdock and the tiger-lily, the butterfly and toad, then, most reverend Judges, punish it, but do not punish this old man, for he himself is but a flume of smoke, thistle down dispersed-- nothing!

She had been indifferent to the Repository that lurked in the depths of Fernbrake Lake, and She had been largely indifferent to the fact that Jack had watched over the Lake for so many years.

The result has naturally been that we have become very good friends, but a very indifferent husband and wife, without any desires for each other.