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 (ĭn-dĭf′ər-əns, -dĭf′rəns)
The state or quality of being indifferent.
American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fifth Edition. Copyright © 2016 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.


(ɪnˈdɪfrəns; -fərəns)
1. the fact or state of being indifferent; lack of care or concern
2. lack of quality; mediocrity
3. lack of importance; insignificance
4. (Philosophy) See principle of indifference
Collins English Dictionary – Complete and Unabridged, 12th Edition 2014 © HarperCollins Publishers 1991, 1994, 1998, 2000, 2003, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2011, 2014


(ɪnˈdɪf ər əns, -ˈdɪf rəns)

1. lack of interest or concern.
2. unimportance; little or no concern.
3. the quality or condition of being indifferent.
4. mediocrity.
[1400–50; late Middle English < Latin]
Random House Kernerman Webster's College Dictionary, © 2010 K Dictionaries Ltd. Copyright 2005, 1997, 1991 by Random House, Inc. All rights reserved.


 of waiters—Lipton, 1970.
Dictionary of Collective Nouns and Group Terms. Copyright 2008 The Gale Group, Inc. All rights reserved.



have other fish to fry To have other, more important matters to attend to; to have better things to do or more pressing business to occupy one’s time and attention. A stock phrase used to give someone the brush-off, this expression dates from the 17th century. It implies that one has no time to waste on unimportant (usually someone else’s) concerns.

“I’ve got other things in hand …
I’ve got other fish to fry.” (Margaret Oliphant, A Poor Gentleman, 1889)

not give a continental To be so scornful as to refuse to give something even so worthless as a continental. The continental was paper scrip issued by the Continental Congress during the American Revolution and was considered to be of virtually no value as a medium of exchange.

not give a damn Not to care, not to be concerned, to have no interest or stake in. Damn is a mild obscenity which has no connection with the practically worthless old Indian coin, a dam, as has been repeatedly and mistakenly conjectured.

It was obvious, as one angry young woman remarked, that he didn’t give a damn—and so they were enraged. (J. Cary, Captive and Free, 1959)

not give a fig To be indifferent or actively hostile toward. The term fig has been in use since 1450 to denote a worthless or insignificant object. Some trace this meaning to ancient Greece where figs were so plentiful as to be worth little or nothing. Others relate it to the fig or fico of the phrase to give the fig (INSULT). Shakespeare plays on the two senses of the term in Henry V:

A figo for thy friendship!—
The fig of Spain. (III, iv)

not give a hoot To be indifferent toward, to be totally unconcerned about. Hoot in this expression is short for hooter, which in turn is thought to be a corruption of iota ‘a whit, a jot.’ Although the abbreviated form hoot did not appear until the early 20th century, hooter was in use in this and similar phrases during the 19th century. Not give a hoot has combined with the similar expression not give a continental to form the currently popular not give a continental hoot. See not worth a continental, WORTHLESSNESS.

I do not give a hoot if it’s colder, and I do not give two hoots what any given cabbie thinks about it. (The Chicago Sun, November, 1947)

not give a rap Not to care or be concerned about. A rap was a counterfeit coin worth about half a farthing which was circulated in Ireland during the 18th century due to the shortage of genuine currency. The worthlessness and neglibility of the literal rap gave rise to the figurative expression.

For the mare-with-three-legs [the gallows], boys, I care not a rap. (William Harrison Ainsworth, Rookwood, 1834)

not give a tinker’s dam To care so little as not to give even something without value; also, not give a tinker’s damn. Conflicting views are current as to the origin of this expression. A dam is a worthless bit of metal used (by tinkers, among others) to keep molten solder in a certain place till it has cooled and solidified. On the other hand, itinerant tinkers were considered of the lowest class, traditionally ill-mannered and given to the use of foul language. To such a one, damn may have been so mild an obscenity as to have no meaning in a string of invective.

Picturesque Expressions: A Thematic Dictionary, 1st Edition. © 1980 The Gale Group, Inc. All rights reserved.
ThesaurusAntonymsRelated WordsSynonymsLegend:
Noun1.indifference - unbiased impartial unconcern
unconcern - a feeling of lack of concern
aloofness, distance - indifference by personal withdrawal; "emotional distance"
detachment, withdrawal - avoiding emotional involvement
2.indifference - apathy demonstrated by an absence of emotional reactionsindifference - apathy demonstrated by an absence of emotional reactions
apathy - an absence of emotion or enthusiasm
3.indifference - the trait of lacking enthusiasm for or interest in things generallyindifference - the trait of lacking enthusiasm for or interest in things generally
passivity, passiveness - the trait of remaining inactive; a lack of initiative
4.indifference - the trait of remaining calm and seeming not to careindifference - the trait of remaining calm and seeming not to care; a casual lack of concern
carefreeness - the trait of being without worry or responsibility
Based on WordNet 3.0, Farlex clipart collection. © 2003-2012 Princeton University, Farlex Inc.


2. irrelevance, insignificance, triviality, unimportance They regard dress as a matter of indifference.
"The worst sin towards our fellow creatures is not to hate them, but to be indifferent to them: that's the essence of inhumanity" [George Bernard Shaw The Devil's Disciple]
"I regard you with an indifference closely bordering on aversion" [Robert Louis Stevenson The New Arabian Nights]
Collins Thesaurus of the English Language – Complete and Unabridged 2nd Edition. 2002 © HarperCollins Publishers 1995, 2002


The American Heritage® Roget's Thesaurus. Copyright © 2013, 2014 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.
لا مُبالاه
áhugaleysi, skeytingarleysi


[ɪnˈdɪfrəns] Nindiferencia f (to ante) it is a matter of total indifference to meno me importa en lo más mínimo, me es totalmente indiferente
Collins Spanish Dictionary - Complete and Unabridged 8th Edition 2005 © William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1971, 1988 © HarperCollins Publishers 1992, 1993, 1996, 1997, 2000, 2003, 2005


[ɪnˈdɪfrəns] n (= lack of interest) → indifférence f
indifference to sth → indifférence à qch
Collins English/French Electronic Resource. © HarperCollins Publishers 2005


nGleichgültigkeit f(to, towards gegenüber), Indifferenz f (geh)(to, towards gegenüber); it’s a matter of complete indifference to medas ist mir völlig egal or gleichgültig
Collins German Dictionary – Complete and Unabridged 7th Edition 2005. © William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1980 © HarperCollins Publishers 1991, 1997, 1999, 2004, 2005, 2007


[ɪnˈdɪfrns] n (see adj) → indifferenza, mediocrità
Collins Italian Dictionary 1st Edition © HarperCollins Publishers 1995


(inˈdifrənt) adjective
1. (often with to) showing no interest in or not caring about (opinions, events etc). She is quite indifferent to other people's suffering.
2. not very good. He is a rather indifferent card-player.
inˈdifferently adverb
inˈdifference noun
the state of showing no interest in, or concern about, something. She showed complete indifference to the cries of the baby.
Kernerman English Multilingual Dictionary © 2006-2013 K Dictionaries Ltd.


n indiferencia
English-Spanish/Spanish-English Medical Dictionary Copyright © 2006 by The McGraw-Hill Companies, Inc. All rights reserved.
References in classic literature ?
Elinor, without observing the varying complexion of her sister, and the animated look which spoke no indifference to the plan, immediately gave a grateful but absolute denial for both, in which she believed herself to be speaking their united inclinations.
Strickland not to pursue it, I could not struggle against his indifference. It requires the feminine temperament to repeat the same thing three times with unabated zest.
Considering how sociably we had been sleeping together the night previous, and especially considering the affectionate arm I had found thrown over me upon waking in the morning, I thought this indifference of his very strange.
Reuter knitted away assiduously; I was aware, however, that at the conclusion of the paragraph, she had lifted her eyelid and honoured me with a glance sideways; she did not know the full excellency of the teacher's style of reading, but she perceived that her accent was not that of the others, and wanted to discover what I thought; I masked my visage with indifference, and ordered the next girl to proceed.
She measured the emotion of his tone, the curious yet perfectly natural indifference of his manner, and she shivered a little.
But beware how you presume on an appearance of indifference, which is nothing but conceit in disguise.
Living the old life, she was horrified at herself, at her utter insurmountable callousness to all her own past, to things, to habits, to the people she had loved, who loved her--to her mother, who was wounded by her indifference, to her kind, tender father, till then dearer than all the world.
But the surprise rose higher still when the dame, with a body oozing easy indifference at every pore, but eyes that gave it all away by absolutely flaming with vanity, slowly unfolded an actual simon-pure tablecloth and spread it.
Seymour was conscious that he played well, and could he have forgotten the indifference that Miss Henly exhibited to his performance, would have been abundantly flattered with the encomiums that were lavished on his skill.
She is now an object of indifference to him, and she would be one of contempt were he to understand her emotions.
As he entered the picture-gallery and paused for a moment looking at Felix on the sofa, his large, cold, steady gray eyes rested on the little man with an indifference that just verged on contempt.
No philosopher was he-- just a plain, commonplace person gifted, for the time being, with a pathological indifference: the organ that he feared consequences with was torpid.