“Fortunately he was not a fan of either team, so the ref was dispassionate about the outcome of the game.”

According to what’s shown above, what is the best definition of dispassionate?

Check your answer!

Choice A - Hateful or angry towards something or someone
Choice B - Full of passionate intensity towards something
Choice C - Depressing or morose in countenance
Choice D - Not affected by emotional involvement


Dispassionate (adjective) – not affected by emotional involvement and therefore able to be impartial, unbiased, and just

GRE pro tips:

The Latin prefix dis- means “apart” or “away,” so it’s safe to assume that dispassionate roughly means anti-passionate, or without a lot of passion or emotion. Now, it’s important to recognize that dispassionate is not a negative term; someone one who is dispassionate is not cold or devoid of emotion (in a bad way) but instead exercises a restraint in or lack of emotion (in a positive way). A dispassionate person is calm, cool, and collected and approaches situations in a manner that is impartial or just.

It’s important, for instance, for a referee to be dispassionate about the outcome of a basketball game, so that he doesn’t make calls favoring one team or the other. Similarly, it’s important for a physician to approach “difficult” discussions in a dispassionate way, so as to remain professional and emotionally stable for his patients or their family members.

Example sentences:

“In basketball, it is always important to find a dispassionate referee who will monitor the game fairly.”

“Although the doctor was deeply upset by the loss of his patient, he tried his best to deliver the news to the family in a dispassionate manner.”