AskDefine | Define apathetic

Dictionary Definition

apathetic adj
1 showing little or no emotion or animation; "a woman who became active rather than apathetic as she grew older"
2 marked by a lack of interest; "an apathetic audience"; "the universe is neither hostile nor friendly; it is simply indifferent" [syn: indifferent]

User Contributed Dictionary



See Apathy.


IPA: WEAE /æp.əˈθɛt.ɪk/


  1. Void of feeling; not susceptible of deep emotion; passionless; indifferent.
  2. Can also refer to Apatheism, a portmanteau expression of atheism and apathy, also known as pragmatic or practical atheism, a subset of atheism (when atheism is defined as lack of belief in deities, rather than specific disbelief in deities). An apatheist is someone who is not interested in accepting or denying any claims that God, or any other supernatural being, exists or does not exist. In other words, an apatheist is someone who considers the question of the existence of God as neither meaningful nor relevant to human affairs.

See also


void of feeling


Extensive Definition

Apathy is a state of indifference — where an individual has an absence of interest or concern to certain aspects of emotional, social, or physical life.
Absence or suppression of passion, emotion, or excitement. Lack of interest in or concern for things that others find moving or exciting.


Apathy is a common feeling of complete discontent (dissatisfaction, i.e. not satisfied) for one's emotional behavior.
Apathy etymologically derives from the Greek απάθεια (apatheia), a term used by the Stoics to signify indifference for what one is not responsible for (that is, according to their philosophy, all things exterior, one being only responsible of his representations and judgments).
Some people may believe that the concept was then reappropriated by Christians, who adopted the term to express a contempt of all earthly concerns, a state of mortification, as (they claim) the gospel prescribes. However there is no such text in the Christian Bible.
The word has been used since then among more devout writers. Clemens Alexandrinus, in particular, brought the term exceedingly in vogue, thinking hereby to draw the philosophers to Christianity, who aspired after such a sublime pitch of virtue.
The concept of apathy became more sympathetically accepted in popular culture during the First World War, in which the appalling conditions of the Western Front led to apathy and shellshock amongst millions of soldiers. Many often had no emotion or thought process concerning killing/death in general.
2. Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2006.
apathetic in Arabic: سلبية
apathetic in Danish: Apati
apathetic in German: Apathie
apathetic in Estonian: Apaatia
apathetic in Spanish: Apatía
apathetic in French: Apathie
apathetic in Ido: Apatio
apathetic in Hebrew: אפתיה
apathetic in Lithuanian: Apatija
apathetic in Dutch: Apathie
apathetic in Norwegian: Apati
apathetic in Polish: Apatia (psychologia)
apathetic in Russian: Апатия
apathetic in Serbian: Апатија
apathetic in Slovak: Apatia
apathetic in Finnish: Apatia
apathetic in Swedish: Apati

Synonyms, Antonyms and Related Words

Laodicean, Olympian, abeyant, affording no hope, aloof, anesthetic, ataractic, backward, balking, balky, benumbed, blah, blase, bleak, bored, callous, careless, casual, cataleptic, catatonic, centrist, cheerless, comatose, comfortless, dead, debilitated, desensitized, despairing, desperate, despondent, detached, devil-may-care, dilatory, disconsolate, disinterested, dismal, dispassionate, disregardful, distant, dopey, dormant, droopy, drugged, dry, dull, easygoing, enervated, even, exanimate, fifty-fifty, flat, forlorn, foul, grim, groggy, grudging, half-and-half, heartless, heavy, hebetudinous, heedless, hopeless, impartial, impassible, impassive, in a stupor, in abeyance, in despair, in suspense, inactive, inanimate, inattentive, incurious, independent, indifferent, inert, inexcitable, insensible, insensitive, insouciant, jaded, lackadaisical, laggard, languid, languorous, latent, leaden, lethargic, lifeless, limp, listless, loath, logy, lumpish, matter-of-fact, midway, mindless, moderate, moribund, negligent, neuter, neutral, nonaligned, nonchalant, noncommitted, nonpartisan, numb, numbed, on the fence, passive, perfunctory, phlegmatic, pluckless, pococurante, pooped, reckless, regardless, reluctant, renitent, resigned, restive, sated, sedentary, slack, sleeping, sleepy, slow, slow to, sluggish, slumbering, smoldering, somnolent, soporific, spiritless, spunkless, stagnant, stagnating, standing, static, stoic, stolid, stultified, stupefied, supine, suspended, tame, third-force, third-world, torpid, turned-off, unanxious, unaroused, uncaring, uncommitted, unconcerned, undiscriminating, unenthusiastic, unhopeful, uninquiring, uninterested, uninvolved, unmindful, unmoved, unsolicitous, untouched, unzealous, vegetable, vegetative, wan, weary, withdrawn, without hope, world-weary
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