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- Ambivalent; unconcerned; uninterested, apathetic.
- Synonyms: insouciant, nonchalant; see also Thesaurus:apathetic
- He was indifferent to the proposal, since it didn’t affect him, either way.
- 1815 December (indicated as 1816), [Jane Austen], chapter 16, in Emma: […], volume (please specify |volume=I, II or III), London: […] [Charles Roworth and James Moyes] for John Murray, OCLC 1708336:
- “I must not hope to be ever situated as you are, in the midst of every dearest connexion, and therefore I cannot expect that simply growing older should make me indifferent about letters.”
“Indifferent! Oh! no—I never conceived you could become indifferent. Letters are no matter of indifference; they are generally a very positive curse.”
- 1933 January 9, George Orwell [pseudonym; Eric Arthur Blair], chapter 3, in Down and Out in Paris and London, London: Victor Gollancz […], OCLC 2603818:
- When you have a hundred francs in the world you are liable to the most craven panics. When you have only three francs you are quite indifferent; for three francs will feed you till tomorrow, and you cannot think further than that. You are bored, but you are not afraid.
- Indicating or reflecting a lack of concern or care.
- Synonyms: laid-back, pococurante; see also Thesaurus:carefree
- She responded with an indifferent shrug.
- Mediocre (usually used negatively in modern usage).
- Synonyms: lackluster, ordinary; see also Thesaurus:mediocre
- The long distance and the indifferent roads made the journey impossible.
- The performance of Blue Jays has been indifferent this season.
- 1749, Henry Fielding, chapter 9, in The History of Tom Jones, a Foundling, volume (please specify |volume=I to VI), London: A[ndrew] Millar, […], OCLC 928184292, book 10, page 275:
- When Mrs. Honour had made her Report from the Landlord, Sophia, with much Difficulty, procured some indifferent Horses, which brought her to the Inn, where Jones had been confined rather by the Misfortune of meeting with a Surgeon, than by having met with a broken Head.
- 1826, [Walter Scott], chapter 3, in Woodstock; Or, The Cavalier. […], volume I, Edinburgh: […] [James Ballantyne and Co.] for Archibald Constable and Co.; London: Longman, Rees, Orme, Brown, and Green, OCLC 991895633, page 84:
- […] the state-rooms are unaired, and in indifferent order, since of late years.
- Having no preference.
- I am indifferent between the two plans.
- Unbiased, impartial, judging fairly.
- Not making a difference; without significance or importance.
- Synonyms: negligible, unimportant; see also Thesaurus:insignificant
- Even if one appliance consumes an indifferent amount of energy when left on stand-by overnight, together they can represent 10% of the electricity demand of a household.
- 1599 (first performance), William Shakespeare, “The Tragedie of Iulius Cæsar”, in Mr. William Shakespeares Comedies, Histories, & Tragedies […] (First Folio), London: […] Isaac Iaggard, and Ed[ward] Blount, published 1623, OCLC 606515358, [Act I, scene iii]:
- […] But I am arm’d,
And dangers are to me indifferent.
- (mechanics) Being in the state of neutral equilibrium.
- (obsolete) Not different, matching.
- c. 1590–1592, William Shakespeare, “The Taming of the Shrew”, in Mr. William Shakespeares Comedies, Histories, & Tragedies […] (First Folio), London: […] Isaac Iaggard, and Ed[ward] Blount, published 1623, OCLC 606515358, [Act IV, scene i]:
- […] let their heads be sleekly comb’d, their blue coats brush’d and their garters of an indifferent knit
mediocre, usually used negatively
having no preference
indifferent (plural indifferents)
- A person who is indifferent or apathetic.
- (obsolete) To some extent, in some degree (intermediate between very and not at all); moderately, tolerably, fairly.
- Synonyms: see Thesaurus:moderately
- The face of the Moon appearing to me to be full of indifferent high mountains.
- (obsolete) Without distinction or preference for some over others.
- 1593, anonymous, The Life and Death of Iacke Straw […], Act III:
- Newton. My Maſters, you that be the chiefeſt of the rout,
The King intreats you kindly here by me,
To come and ſpeake with him a word or two.
Iacke Straw. Sirra, if the King would any thinge with vs,
Tell him the way is indifferent to meete vs.
Newton. You are too many to be talkt with all, […]
- Now obsolete, but very common c. 1600-1730.