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Synonyms of disinterested in English:


  • 2 he looked at her with disinterested eyes
    uninterested, indifferent, incurious, uncurious, unconcerned, unmoved, unresponsive, impassive, passive, detached, unenthusiastic, lukewarm, bored, apathetic
    informal couldn't-care-less
  • Usage



    It is my experience that whenever one is trapped in a bar by a logomaniac, a word-bore, he will sooner or later bring to your notice His View, as though it were worth hearing, of the word disinterested. I simply cannot stand it, he will say, when young people (who are apparently always to blame for linguistic solecisms) use disinterested to mean not interested, when of course it properly means unbiased, and the word they should be using if they weren't lazy and careless butchers of the tongue, is uninterested. Well, I have two pieces of news for you, Mr. Bore. First of all, disinterested has been used to mean not interested for a much longer time than it has ever been used to denote 'nonpartisan'—nearly 50 seventeenth-century years separate the first use of one meaning from the other. And secondly—a sufficient number of these lazy and (in the logomaniacal view) wrongheaded people, old, young, sensible, and stupid, have lately been employing the word to mean 'not interested' that any future editions of a good and nonprescriptive dictionary will be bound to note that this is now a perfectly legitimate way of using the word again, if not the principal one. So forget the argument. Get over it. Though disinterested certainly and uniquely does have the sense of 'unbiased,' it happens that in general use these days—and back in the beginning of the seventeenth century also, it seems—it means 'uninterested' too.
    Simon Winchester
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