Share this entry

Share this page

apathy

Syllabification: ap·a·thy
Pronunciation: /ˈapəTHē
 
/

Definition of apathy in English:

noun

Lack of interest, enthusiasm, or concern: widespread apathy among students
More example sentences
  • Another reason for voter apathy is a lack of confidence in politicians.
  • He also signalled the need for politicians to combat public apathy by re-establishing trust.
  • The apathy and lack of compassion he describes, are also present in our own US health care system.
Synonyms
indifference, lack of interest, lack of enthusiasm, lack of concern, unconcern, uninterestedness, unresponsiveness, impassivity, dispassion, lethargy, languor, ennui
rare acedia

Origin

early 17th century: from French apathie, via Latin from Greek apatheia, from apathēs 'without feeling', from a- 'without' + pathos 'suffering'.

More
  • pathetic from (late 16th century):

    ‘Affecting the emotions’ was the early sense of pathetic which came via late Latin from Greek pathētikos ‘sensitive’, based on pathos ‘suffering’ (M17th in English). Apathy (early 17th century) is from apathēs ‘without feeling’, and empathy (from em- ‘in’ and pathos ‘feeling’) was coined by physiologists in the early 20th century. See also sympathy

Words that rhyme with apathy

telepathyempathy

Definition of apathy in:

Share this entry

Share this page

 

What do you find interesting about this word or phrase?

Comments that don't adhere to our Community Guidelines may be moderated or removed.

Get more from Oxford Dictionaries

Subscribe to remove adverts and access premium resources

Word of the day cumbersome
Pronunciation: ˈkʌmbəs(ə)m
adjective
large or heavy and therefore difficult to carry…