English provides two similar
prefixes to denote opposite meaning: "un" and "dis." The former,
"un," was the first one used in English; the later, "dis," came
from Latin and can mean separation.
So, does "disinterested" have the
same meaning as "uninterested"? In common usage, it may seem that
way. However, "disinterest" denotes an impartial attitude, such as
this usage: "The game's referee remained disinterested in the
game, calling it fairly."
For "uninterested" we can say, "The
referee's wife was uninterested in the outcome of the boring,
drawn-out football match."
In writing, be sure to favour
"uninterested" for meaning the opposite of "interested" and to
reserve "disinterested" for its useful, though rarer, meaning.
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