in·dif·fer·ent (ĭn-dĭfər-ənt, -dĭfrənt)
a. Having no particular interest or concern; apathetic: a person who is indifferent to the sufferings of others.
b. Having no marked feeling for or against: She remained indifferent toward their proposal.
2. Not mattering one way or the other; unimportant; immaterial: It's indifferent which outfit you choose.
3. Characterized by a lack of partiality; unbiased: an indifferent judge.
a. Being neither too much nor too little; moderate: "Specialist rectifiers ... raised brandies of indifferent strength to the desired strength by further distillations" (L.M. Cullen).
b. Being neither good nor bad; mediocre: an indifferent performance. See Synonyms at average.
5. Not active or involved; neutral: an indifferent chemical in a reaction.
6. Biology Undifferentiated, as cells or tissue.
[Middle English, from Old French, from Latin indifferēns, indifferent- : in-, not; see IN-1 + differēns, different; see DIFFERENT.]
The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fifth Edition copyright ©2022 by HarperCollins Publishers. All rights reserved.
Indo-European & Semitic Roots Appendices
Thousands of entries in the dictionary include etymologies that trace their origins back to reconstructed proto-languages. You can obtain more information about these forms in our online appendices:
The Indo-European appendix covers nearly half of the Indo-European roots that have left their mark on English words. A more complete treatment of Indo-European roots and the English words derived from them is available in our Dictionary of Indo-European Roots.