- Disinterested means “without a vested interest.”
- Uninterested means “not showing interest.”
The words disinterested and uninterested are sometimes used as if they have the same meaning. But there is a difference, and to avoid confusion, you should be aware of what that difference is.
What does disinterested mean?
When someone doesn’t have a vested interest in a matter, or doesn’t have a horse in that race, we can say that this person is disinterested. To be disinterested means to be impartial, which explains why this word, in its traditional sense, is often used in legal or business contexts:
However, writers sometimes use disinterested when uninterested would be more accurate:
But, to avoid confusion, it’s best to preserve the distinction between these two words.
What does uninterested mean?
If someone is bored, doesn’t care about something, or isn’t showing an interest in something, we can use the word uninterested to describe them: