‘Disinterested’ and ‘uninterested’

Some people get very upset when disinterested is used to mean the same thing as uninterested.

  • Disinterested: unbiased or objective
  • Uninterested: having or showing no interest in someone or something

Disinterested was used to mean uninterested in the 17th century, and modern usage suggests that disinterested is often considered a synonym of uninterested.

However, I would recommend maintaining the distinction in formal writing. This helps to avoid any confusion over your meaning.

I wouldn’t worry too much about the usage in informal writing or in everyday conversation.

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