Definition of disinterested in English:

disinterested

Line breaks: dis|in¦ter|est¦ed
Pronunciation: /dɪsˈɪnt(ə)rɪstɪd
 
/

adjective

Derivatives

disinterestedly

adverb
More example sentences
  • I saw a number of people crying at the veterans’ rally, and a number of people drifting around disinterestedly.
  • With no selfish motive, or desire to be awarded here or hereafter, quite disinterestedly have I devoted my life to the cause of independence, because I could not do otherwise.
  • Even as Manuel reprimanded them during his speech, many sat there disinterestedly, napped or kept busy with other things.

disinterestedness

noun
More example sentences
  • The problem is that the particularism of friendship is at odds with modern conceptions of virtue as disinterestedness and detachment.
  • The classical approach emphasizes scholarly disinterestedness and detachment.
  • One has to establish the credibility of the evidence; and the credibility of witnesses always depends on their disinterestedness.

Origin

early 17th century: past participle of the rare verb disinterest 'rid of interest or concern', from dis- (expressing removal) + interest.

Usage

Nowhere are the battle lines more deeply drawn in usage questions than over the difference between disinterested and uninterested. According to traditional guidelines, disinterested should never be used to mean ‘not interested’ (i.e. it is not a synonym for uninterested) but only to mean ‘impartial’, as in the judgements of disinterested outsiders are likely to be more useful . Ironically, the earliest recorded sense of disinterested is for the disputed sense. Today, the ‘incorrect’ use of disinterested is widespread: around a quarter of citations in the Oxford English Corpus for disinterested are for this sense.

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