Definitions

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

  • n. Freedom from selfish bias or self-interest; impartiality.
  • n. Lack of interest; indifference.
  • transitive v. To divest of interest.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

  • n. A lack of interest; indifference; apathy.
  • n. The absence of selfish bias or self-interest; impartiality or detachment.
  • v. To render disinterested.

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • adj. Disinterested.
  • n. What is contrary to interest or advantage; disadvantage.
  • n. Indifference to profit; want of regard to private advantage; disinterestedness.
  • transitive v. To divest of interest or interested motives.

from The Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia

  • n. What is contrary to interest or advantage; disadvantage; injury.
  • n. Indifference to profit; want of regard to private advantage.
  • To rid of interest; disengage from private interest or advantage; destroy the interest of.
  • See disinteressed.

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

  • n. tolerance attributable to a lack of involvement

Etymologies

From dis- + interest (Wiktionary)

Examples

  • Downing Street have released the initial details of Prime Minister Gollum Brown's Cabinet reshuffle to awed disinterest from the world.

    Archive 2009-06-01

  • Author James Bradley has a wonderfully in-depth review of The Day of the Triffids by John Wyndham: Yet this disinterest is of a piece with the novel's desire to unsettle not by transporting the reader to a world unknown to them, but by taking the world they know and exposing the assumptions at its core.

    SF Tidbits for 9/8/09

  • This calm disinterest is often why many organizations hire arbitrators to help negotiate contracts between say, a union and a company.

    Kristine Kathryn Rusch » 2009 » December

  • Everybody wants approval, and disinterest is almost as bad as disapproval.

    No Guts, No Glory

  • As childish as it sounds, I think my disinterest comes from the lack of physical action in the book.

    Confessions of a Comic Book Nerd

  • However, touch-screen voters were EIGHT times more likely not to register any vote at all -- obviously a sign of error on the machine's part rather than disinterest from the voter in the booth.

    07/28/2004

  • Against the explicitly but restrictively political mandates of critical and monumental histories, antiquarian history holds out the ideal of disinterest, even as disinterest is deemed no longer possible.

    Is Literary History the History of Everything? The Case for 'Antiquarian' History

  • The Labour Party, if their past performance, and their present disinterest, is any indication, are even more opposed.

    Scottish Home Rule

  • In fact, a few songs here are leftovers from earlier unreleased sessions and singles sides to pad the album to 11 tracks, a clear sign of growing label disinterest after his relatively conceptually unified

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  • Which proved she had been listening despite her expression of disinterest in the proceedings and Shari’s explanation of the dance’s origin.

    The Lancaster Men

Comments

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  • I happen to think the distinction between uninterested and disinterested is worthwhile, hence constructions of the following type are not pleasing:
    "But it's there for all to see - his sloth-like administration, his flip-flopping in decision-making and his seeming disinterest in state affairs." - Steven Gan, unreferenced article on the subject of Abdullah Ahmad Badawi.

    Coupled with seeming, we have a really rubbery construction. So what's he implying?
    - That Badawi seems unbiased (but isn't, only seems so); or
    - That Badawi seems unbiased (and is, seeming is believing);
    - That Badawi seems apathetic (and is, that's the way it seems); or
    - That Badawi seems apathetic (but isn't, only seems so).

    Would that I ever find a ruler with a genuine disinterest in state affairs!

    December 4, 2007