What is the difference between indifferent and different?

indifferent | different | Related terms |

Indifferent is a related term of different.

As adjectives the difference between indifferent and different

is that indifferent is not caring or concerned; uninterested, apathetic while different is not the same; exhibiting a difference.

As a adverb indifferent

is (obsolete) to some extent, in some degree (intermediate between very'' and ''not at all ); moderately, tolerably, fairly.

As a noun different is

(mathematics) the different ideal.




(en adjective)
  • Not caring or concerned; uninterested, apathetic.
  • He was indifferent to the proposal, since it didn't affect him, either way.
  • Mediocre, usually used negatively in modern usage.
  • The long distance and the indifferent roads made the journey impossible.
    The performance of Blue Jays has been '''indifferent'' this season.
  • * Sir Walter Scott
  • The staterooms are in indifferent order.
  • Having no preference or bias, being impartial.
  • ''I am indifferent between the two plans.
  • * Addison
  • indifferent in his choice to sleep or die
  • Not making a difference; without significance or importance.
  • Even if one appliance consumes an indifferent amount of energy when left on stand-by overnight, together they can represent 10% of the electricity demand of a household.
  • * Shakespeare
  • Dangers are to me indifferent .
  • * Jeremy Taylor
  • Everything in the world is indifferent but sin.
  • * Nathaniel Hawthorne
  • His slightest and most indifferent acts were odious in the clergyman's sight.
  • (mechanics) Being in the state of neutral equilibrium.
  • Quotations

    * , act 4, scene 1: *: Let their heads be sleekly combed their blue coats brushed and their garters of an indifferent knit


  • (obsolete) To some extent, in some degree (intermediate between very'' and ''not at all ); moderately, tolerably, fairly.
  • The face of the Moon appearing to me to be full of indifferent high mountains...

    Usage notes

    * Now obsolete, but very common c. 1600-1730.


    * ----



    (en adjective)
  • Not the same; exhibiting a difference.
  • *
  • * 1971 , William S. Burroughs, , page 6
  • Enter the American tourist. He thinks of himself as a good guy but when he looks in the mirror to shave this good guy he has to admit that "well, other people are different from me and I don't really like them." This makes him feel guilty toward other people.
  • * {{quote-magazine, date=2013-07-19, author= Ian Sample
  • , volume=189, issue=6, page=34, magazine=(The Guardian Weekly) , title= Irregular bedtimes may affect children's brains , passage=Irregular bedtimes may disrupt healthy brain development in young children, according to a study of intelligence and sleeping habits.  ¶ Going to bed at a different time each night affected girls more than boys, but both fared worse on mental tasks than children who had a set bedtime, researchers found.}}
  • Various, assorted, diverse.
  • * 2006 , Delbert S. Elliott et al., Good Kids from Bad Neighborhoods: Successful Development in Social Context , Cambridge University Press, ISBN 9780521863575, page 19:
  • In any case, poor black respondents living in high-poverty neighborhoods are most likely to view their neighborhood as a single block or block group and to use this definition consistently when asked about different neighborhood characteristics and activities.
  • Distinct, separate; (used for emphasis after numbers and other determiners of quantity).
  • * {{quote-magazine, year=2013, month=May-June, author= Charles T. Ambrose
  • , title= Alzheimer’s Disease , volume=101, issue=3, page=200, magazine=(American Scientist) , passage=Similar studies of rats have employed four different intracranial resorbable, slow sustained release systems—surgical foam, a thermal gel depot, a microcapsule or biodegradable polymer beads.}}
  • Unlike most others; unusual.
  • Usage notes

    * (not the same) Depending on dialect, time period, and register, the adjective may be construed with one of the prepositions (from), (to), and (than), or with the subordinating conjunction (than).
    Pleasure is different from'''/'''than'''/'''to''' happiness.''
    ''It's different '''than''' ''(or '''''from what'' )'' I expected.
    Of these, (term) is more common in formal registers than in informal ones, and more common in the US than elsewhere; (term) is more common in the US than elsewhere; and (term) is more common in the UK, in Australia, and in New Zealand than in the US. Style guides often advocate (term), by analogy with (term) rather than *(term) or *(term), and (term) and (term).


    * distinct


    * alike * identical * same * similar * undifferent

    Derived terms

    * different as chalk and cheese * different drummer * different ideal * different light * different strokes * horse of a different color * march to the beat of a different drum


    (en noun)
  • (mathematics) The different ideal.