Definitions

from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 4th Edition

  • n. Lack of interest or concern, especially regarding matters of general importance or appeal; indifference.
  • n. Lack of emotion or feeling; impassiveness.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

  • n. Complete lack of emotion or motivation about a person, activity, or object; depression; lack of interest or enthusiasm; disinterest.

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • n. Want of feeling; privation of passion, emotion, or excitement; dispassion; -- applied either to the body or the mind. As applied to the mind, it is a calmness, indolence, or state of indifference, incapable of being ruffled or roused to active interest or exertion by pleasure, pain, or passion.

from The Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia

  • n. Want of feeling; absence or suppression of passion, emotion, or excitement; insensibility; indifference.
  • n. Synonyms Indifference, Insensibility, Impassibility, Apathy, Stoicism, Unconcern, Phlegm, Calmness, torpor, coldness, coolness, unfeelingness, lethargy, immobility. (See list under indifference.) Indifference denotes absence of feeling, passion, or desire toward a particular object: as, indifference to pain or ridicule. Apathy commonly implies a general want of feeling, a complete indifference in regard to anything, due to want of interest or attention, as in the case of a repressed or sluggish intellect, or of extreme illness or affliction. Insensibility and impassibility suggest the lack of capacity for feeling, or an absence of susceptibility, being qualities rather than states of mind. Indifference arising from impassibility relates more particularly to internal, that arising from insensibility to external, impressions; the former is, moreover, more profound and radical than the latter. Indifference may be an entirely proper state under the circumstances; insensibility and impassibility are always at least to be pitied; unconcern is always and indifference sometimes blameworthy, as cold and selfish. Stoicism is a studied suppression of feeling, or the concealment especially of painful feeling by force of will. Unconcern is absence of solicitude. (See care.) Phlegm most suggestive of physical temperament; it is a constitutional dullness or sluggishness, an incapability of being aroused by anything. Calmness is a tranquillity resulting from the mastery of the will over passions and feelings that perhaps are strong and keen, and hence is always commendable.
  • n. In the Stoic philos., a certain imperturbability produced in the wise man's soul by sincere rejection of the notion that pleasure is in itself desirable, or pain in itself undesirable and by trained watchfulness to exclude all unreasonable passions (all passions affecting conduct being regarded as unreasonable).

from WordNet 3.0 Copyright 2006 by Princeton University. All rights reserved.

  • n. an absence of emotion or enthusiasm
  • n. the trait of lacking enthusiasm for or interest in things generally

Etymologies

Latin apathīa, from Greek apatheia, from apathēs, without feeling : a-, without; see a-1 + pathos, feeling; see kwent(h)- in Indo-European roots.
(American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth Edition)
From French apathie, from Latin apathīa, from Ancient Greek ἀπάθεια (apatheia, "impassibility”, “insensibility”, “freedom from emotion"), from ἀπαθής (apathēs, "not suffering or having suffered”, “without experience of"), from ἀ- (a-, "not") + πάθος (pathos, "anything that befalls one”, “incident”, “emotion”, “passion"). (Wiktionary)

Examples

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  • I don't care (he don't care)
    I don't care (he don't care)
    I don't care about this world
    I don't care about that girl

    -Ramones, "I Don't Care"

    January 17, 2007