Learn the difference: Uninterested versus Disinterested

Quick question: when your friend keeps telling you a story that you have no interest in, are you uninterested or disinterested?

These two words sound similar but do not mean the same thing i.e. they are not synonyms.

Let’s learn their correct usage today!


Uninterested means “have or show no feeling of interest; indifferent.”

For example: A person who dislikes watching movies would be uninterested in watching the newly released thriller everyone is talking about.

The above example means that the person has no interest in watching movies and s/he finds it boring.


Disinterested means “impartial; unbiased by personal interest or advantage.”

For example: A disinterested observer is best for our competition.

The above example means that a person who has no personal interest or advantage in the competition would be best to observe/judge it.

Uninterested versus Disinterested

To be uninterested means to be indifferent


To be disinterested means to be impartial

Both these words are derived from the word interest which originated from the Latin word interrese. Hence, they are easily confused.

Incorrect: Why do you seem so disinterested?

Correct   : Why do you seem so uninterested?

Incorrect: We need an uninterested judge for the game.

Correct   : We need a disinterested judge for the game.

So, to answer the question I asked in the beginning, you are uninterested in the story your friend tells you (and not  disinterested)as it may be boring or uneventful .

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