Disinterested vs. Uninterested

Alison Chaplin

Language can be tricky, especially when words sound the same and seem similar. “Disinterested” and “uninterested” often confuse people. Let’s talk about them in a simple way, looking at where they come from, what they mean, and how we use them. I’ll include examples to help you understand better.

What is the History of these Words?

Let’s start with where these words come from. “Disinterested” came about in the 17th century, blending “dis-” meaning “not” with “interested,” indicating a lack of personal involvement. “Uninterested” showed up in the 18th century, formed by adding “un-” meaning “not” to “interested,” suggesting a general lack of interest or enthusiasm.

What are the Definitions?


  • Definition: Impartial or without personal involvement.
  • Usage: Used when there’s a need for objectivity, often in situations requiring neutrality.


  • Definition: Lacking interest or enthusiasm.
  • Usage: Indicates a general disinterest or indifference towards a particular subject or activity.

Differentiating Usage with Examples:

Legal ProceedingsThe judge remained disinterested, ensuring a fair trial.The lawyer seemed uninterested due to the case’s complexity.
FriendshipShe stayed disinterested in the gossip, not taking sides.He appeared uninterested in maintaining friendships, often avoiding social events.
Job InterviewThe hiring manager was disinterested in personal details, focusing on qualifications.The candidate came across as uninterested during the interview, showing no enthusiasm for the position.

Avoiding Common Mistakes:

Mixing up these terms is common, but it’s important to use them correctly for clear communication.

Misuse of “Disinterested”:

  • Incorrect: The team was disinterested in winning the championship.
  • Correct: The team was uninterested in winning the championship.

Misuse of “Uninterested”:

  • Incorrect: The mediator remained uninterested in resolving the dispute fairly.
  • Correct: The mediator remained disinterested in resolving the dispute fairly.

How to Use of Disinterested and Uninterested in Sentences?

Disinterested” in Sentences:

  1. The judge remained disinterested throughout the trial, ensuring a fair and unbiased verdict.
  2. In negotiations, it’s crucial to have a disinterested third party to mediate and facilitate a neutral resolution.
  3. As a reporter, her stories were always disinterested, presenting the facts without any personal bias.

Uninterested” in Sentences:

  1. Despite the teacher’s efforts, some students seemed uninterested in the science experiment.
  2. Jack appeared uninterested in the new project, preferring to stick to his usual tasks.
  3. The employees became uninterested in the training program, leading to a decline in participation.

Using Both in a Sentence:

  1. The audience seemed uninterested during the lengthy lecture, while the speaker remained disinterested in their reactions, maintaining a professional demeanor.
  2. While the manager stayed disinterested in office gossip, the new intern was clearly uninterested in getting involved, preferring to focus on work.
  3. Even though the journalist was personally uninterested in politics, they strived to remain disinterested when reporting on political events.

What is the Difference between “Disinterested” and “Uninterested”?

“Disinterested” means impartial or without personal involvement, often in situations requiring objectivity. On the other hand, “uninterested” indicates a general lack of interest or enthusiasm towards a subject or activity.


In language, it’s important to know the difference between “disinterested” and “uninterested” for clear communication. We’ll talk about where these words come from, what they really mean, and share examples to help you understand. So, if you ever feel unsure, just remember – one means being impartial, while the other shows a lack of interest.