Etymology: Middle English, from Anglo-French or Latin; Anglo-French, from Latin indifferent-, indifferens, from in- + different-, differens, present participle of differre to be different — more at differ
Date: 14th century
1. marked by impartiality ; unbiased
a. that does not matter one way or the other
b. of no importance or value one way or the other
a. marked by no special liking for or dislike of something <indifferent about which task he was given> b. marked by a lack of interest, enthusiasm, or concern for something ; apathetic <indifferent to suffering and poverty> 4. being neither excessive nor inadequate ; moderate <hills of indifferent size> 5. a. being neither good nor bad ; mediocre <does indifferent work> b. being neither right nor wrong 6. characterized by lack of active quality ; neutral <an indifferent chemical> 7. a. not differentiated <indifferent tissues of the human body> b. capable of development in more than one direction; especially not yet embryologically determined • indifferently adverb Synonyms: indifferent, unconcerned, incurious, aloof, detached, disinterested mean not showing or feeling interest. indifferent implies neutrality of attitude from lack of inclination, preference, or prejudice <indifferent to the dictates of fashion>. unconcerned suggests a lack of sensitivity or regard for others' needs or troubles <unconcerned about the homeless>. incurious implies an inability to take a normal interest due to dullness of mind or to self-centeredness <incurious about the world>. aloof suggests a cool reserve arising from a sense of superiority or disdain for inferiors or from shyness <aloof from his coworkers>. detached implies an objective attitude achieved through absence of prejudice or selfishness <observed family gatherings with detached amusement>. disinterested implies a circumstantial freedom from concern for personal or especially financial advantage that enables one to judge or advise without bias <judged by a panel of disinterested observers>.
New Collegiate Dictionary. 2001.