from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 5th Edition.

  • adjective Free of bias and self-interest; impartial.
  • adjective Not interested; indifferent.
  • adjective Having lost interest.

from The Century Dictionary.

  • Free from self-interest; unbiased by personal interest or private advantage; acting from unselfish motives.
  • Not influenced or dictated by private advantage: as, a disinterested decision.
  • Synonyms Unbiased, impartial, unbought, incorruptible, unselfish, dispassionate, magnanimous. Disinterested and uninterested are sometimes confounded in speech, though rarely in writing. A disinterested person takes part in or concerns himself about the affairs of others without regard to sell-interest, or to any personal benefit to be gained by his action; an uninterested one takes no interest in or is indifferent to the matter under consideration: as, a disinterested witness; an uninterested spectator.

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English.

  • adjective Not influenced by regard to personal interest or advantage; free from selfish motive; having no relation of interest or feeling; not biased or prejudiced.

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

  • adjective unaffected by self-interest


from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

From dis- +‎ interested.


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  • He had never till now called upon me to make the shadow of a return for all his disinterested love -- _disinterested_, ah, was it so?

    Blackwood's Edinburgh Magazine — Volume 53, No. 327, January, 1843 Various

  • The first of these defines aesthetic appreciation as _disinterested interest, _ gratuitously identifying self-interest with the practical pursuit of advantages we have not yet got; and overlooking the fact that such appreciation implies enjoyment and is so far the very reverse of disinterested.

    The Beautiful An Introduction to Psychological Aesthetics Vernon Lee 1895

  • By the term disinterested I mean detached from ulterior objects.

    The Unity of Civilization Various

  • Boyd had looked away, his expression disinterested.

    The Will Reed Arvin 2000

  • Boyd had looked away, his expression disinterested.

    The Will Reed Arvin 2000

  • Moreover, Mr Webb's point about what he calls disinterested management -- that is to say, the management of banks by officers whose remuneration bears no relation to the profit made on each piece of business transacted -- is one of the matters in which English banking seems likely at least to be modified.

    War-Time Financial Problems Hartley Withers 1908

  • -- Hence the value we attach, in the exercise of all the affections, to what we call disinterested conduct, -- to him who does good by stealth, or who performs acts of exalted justice, generosity, or forbearance, under circumstances which exclude every idea of a selfish motive, -- or when self-interest and personal feeling are strongly and obviously opposed to them.

    The Philosophy of the Moral Feelings John Abercrombie 1812

  • Congress has shown itself to be serially disinterested is such matters.

    Matthew Yglesias » In the Long Run 2010

  • What we call disinterested, however, super-cats might call aimless.

    This Simian World Clarence Day 1904

  • What we call disinterested, however, super-cats might call aimless.

    This Simian World Clarence Day 1904


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  • Incorrectly used as uninterested.

    March 29, 2008

  • it's not incorrect to use it in the sense of uninterested. It's just not a preferred meaning nowadays...

    check here for explanation:

    November 7, 2011

  • unbiased; neutral

    The potential juror knew the defendant, and therefore could not serve on the jury, which must consist only of disinterested members.

    October 11, 2016