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Word comparisons

Note 54 – Disinterested v Uninterested

For the background to my writing challenge, please read my first blog by clicking the following link – If you would prefer to dive straight into note 54, then please read on…

Is there a difference between the words disinterested and uninterested?

There is a distinct difference between these two words.  In this blog, I have included some definitions that I have found, but also summarised my thoughts and created my own definition at the end of this blog:


Some of the definitions from The Collins English Dictionary & Thesaurus are as follows:

  • free from bias or partiality (impartial)
  • objective
  • candid
  • detatched
  • dispassionate
  • equitable
  • even-handed

The Pocket Writer’s Handbook helps explain this by suggesting that “a disinterested observer is somebody who is not on anybody’s side.”


Some of the definitions from The Collins English Dictionary & Thesaurus are as follows:

  • unresponsive
  • uninvoled
  • unconcerned
  • bored
  • indifferentapathetic
  • listless

The Pocket Writer’s Handbook helps explain this by suggesting that “a disinterested observer simply does not care about what is going on.”

My thoughts: I would guess that these two words are misused quite a lot of the time, but I may be wrong (I will just be looking out for it more from now on).  To summarise the differences in my mind, I will remember them as:

A disinterested person is attentive and impartial; he/she is not on anyone’s side but still there watching, listening or taking part.

An uninterested person is distracted and his/her mind is not really there; he/she is uninvolved and possibly fed up.

Having summed that up, I’d say that’s quite a difference wouldn’t you?

Thanks to those of you that are still following my blogs and to any new readers too.  Please remember to send me requests for writing tips that you would like me to blog about.

Until tomorrow…


This blog:

My other blog:

My website: (includes the first chapter of my book)

Twitter: @madeirasandra and @tipsandluxuries

Reference list:

The Collins English Dictionary & Thesaurus – published by HarperCollins Publishers, UK

Pocket Writer’s Handbook (Penguin Reference Library), Martin Manser and Stephen Curtis


About Sandra Madeira

I am a full-time working mum with a passion for writing and inspiring others. Subjects I tend to blog about are life skills, parenting, decluttering, worklife balance, etc. At the moment I am on a decluttering mission creating space in my house, garden and mind. I have challenged myself to do at least ten minutes a day and write about it. Have a good day! Sandra Freelance Writer


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