Wordsmith.org: the magic of words


A.Word.A.Day

About | Media | Search | Contact  


Home

Today's Word

Subscribe

Archives



Jan 8, 2021
This week’s theme
Usage examples that are food for thought

This week’s words
approbation
promontory
exigency
construe
disinterested

This week’s comments
AWADmail 967

Next week’s theme
Words with variant spellings
Bookmark and Share Facebook Twitter Digg MySpace Bookmark and Share
A.Word.A.Day
with Anu Garg

disinterested

PRONUNCIATION:
(dis-IN-truh-stuhd, dis-IN-tuh-res-tid)

MEANING:
adjective:
1. Free of bias or self-interest; impartial.
2. Indifferent or not interested.
3. No longer interested.

ETYMOLOGY:
From Latin dis- (apart, away) + interesse (to be in between), from inter- (between) + esse (to be). Earliest documented use: 1631.

NOTES:
Some people, defending the purity of language, would insist that:
Disinterested = impartial
Uninterested = not interested
If you come across someone using the word disinterested to mean not interested, don’t let it bother you too much. That’s what the word originally meant. And the word uninterested meant impartial. Over time the usage flipped, but the original meaning of the word disinterested is still not uncommon.
As long as the meaning is clear from the context, take a long deep breath. The English language is just fine, thank you, and doesn’t need its honor defended.

USAGE:
“The force which makes for war does not derive its strength from the interested motives of evil men; it derives its strength from the disinterested motives of good men.”
Norman Angell; Peace and the Public Mind (Nobel lecture); Jun 12, 1935.

See more usage examples of disinterested in Vocabulary.com’s dictionary.

A THOUGHT FOR TODAY:
Those who insist on the dignity of their office show they have not deserved it. -Baltasar Gracián, philosopher and writer (8 Jan 1601-1658)

We need your help

Help us continue to spread the magic of words to readers everywhere

Donate

Subscriber Services
Awards | Stats | Links | Privacy Policy
Contribute | Advertise

© 1994-2021 Wordsmith