disinterested

/dis in"teuh res'tid, -tri stid/, adj.
1. unbiased by personal interest or advantage; not influenced by selfish motives: a disinterested decision by the referee.
2. not interested; indifferent.
[1605-15; DIS-1 + INTERESTED]
Syn. 1. impartial, neutral, unprejudiced, dispassionate. See fair1.
Ant. 1. partial, biased.
Usage. DISINTERESTED and UNINTERESTED share a confused and confusing history. DISINTERESTED was originally used to mean "not interested, indifferent"; UNINTERESTED in its earliest use meant "impartial." By various developmental twists, DISINTERESTED is now used in both senses. UNINTERESTED is used mainly in the sense "not interested, indifferent." It is occasionally used to mean "not having a personal or property interest."
Many object to the use of DISINTERESTED to mean "not interested, indifferent." They insist that DISINTERESTED can mean only "impartial": A disinterested observer is the best judge of behavior. However, both senses are well established in all varieties of English, and the sense intended is almost always clear from the context.

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Universalium. 2010.

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  • disinterested — 1. The use of disinterested to mean ‘uninterested’, although not a problem to Fowler (1926), is a keyword in current debates about correct usage. Those who rage most furiously are not always aware, however, that the word has changed its principal …   Modern English usage

  • disinterested — dis·in·ter·est·ed /dis in tə rəs təd, in trəs , in tə ˌres / adj: free of any interest esp. of a pecuniary nature: impartial a disinterested person to witness the will Merriam Webster’s Dictionary of Law. Merriam Webster. 1996 …   Law dictionary

  • Disinterested — Dis*in ter*est*ed, a. [Cf. {Disinteressed}.] Not influenced by regard to personal interest or advantage; free from selfish motive; having no relation of interest or feeling; not biased or prejudiced; as, a disinterested decision or judge. [1913… …   The Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • disinterested — UK US /dɪˈsɪntrəstɪd/ adjective ► someone who is disinterested will receive no personal advantage from a situation, so their advice or a decision relating to it will probably be fair: »Determination must be made by disinterested trustees or… …   Financial and business terms

  • disinterested — 1610s, unconcerned, the sense we now would ascribe to UNINTERESTED (Cf. uninterested), with the sense of impartial going to disinteressed (c.1600). See DIS (Cf. dis ) + INTEREST (Cf. interest). Modern sense of disinterested is first attested… …   Etymology dictionary

  • disinterested — ► ADJECTIVE 1) not influenced by considerations of personal advantage; impartial. 2) having or feeling no interest. DERIVATIVES disinterestedly adverb disinterestedness noun. USAGE There is a difference between disinterested and uninterested …   English terms dictionary

  • disinterested — uninterested, detached, aloof, unconcerned, *indifferent, incurious Analogous words: dispassionate, unbiased, impartial, *fair, just: *neutral, negative Antonyms: interested: prejudiced, biased …   New Dictionary of Synonyms

  • disinterested — [adj] detached, uninvolved aloof, candid, casual, dispassionate, equitable, even handed, impartial, impersonal, incurious, indifferent, just watching the clock*, lackadaisical, negative, neutral, nonpartisan, not giving a damn*, outside,… …   New thesaurus

  • disinterested — [dis in′trəs tid, disint′ər əs tid] adj. 1. not influenced by personal interest or selfish motives; impartial; unbiased 2. uninterested; indifferent: this usage, a revival of an obsolete meaning, is objected to by some SYN. INDIFFERENT… …   English World dictionary

  • disinterested — adjective Date: circa 1612 1. a. not having the mind or feelings engaged ; not interested < telling them in a disinterested voice Tom Wicker > < disinterested in women J. A. Brussel > b. no longer interested < husband and wife become… …   New Collegiate Dictionary

  • disinterested — [[t]dɪsɪ̱ntrəstɪd[/t]] 1) ADJ GRADED Someone who is disinterested is not involved in a particular situation or not likely to benefit from it and is therefore able to act in a fair and unselfish way. The current sole superpower is far from being a …   English dictionary

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