care·​less | \ ˈker-ləs \

Definition of careless 

1a : free from care : untroubled careless days
b : indifferent, unconcerned careless of the consequences
2 : not taking care My brother was too careless of his charge.— Shakespeare
3 : not showing or receiving care:
a : negligent, slovenly careless writing
b : unstudied, spontaneous a careless grace a careless glance
c obsolete : unvalued, disregarded

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Other Words from careless

carelessly adverb
carelessness noun

Examples of careless in a Sentence

He is a careless worker. She was careless with my things. It was a careless mistake. a newspaper known for careless reporting
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Recent Examples on the Web

But Facebook was sloppy and careless with your data, and most users had no idea that these partnerships exist. Recode Staff, Recode, "Recode Daily: Another damning Facebook data-privacy report — and a new lawsuit — sink the social network’s shares," 20 Dec. 2018 And my last turnover was just very, very careless on Terry Rozier. Michael Singer, USA TODAY, "LeBron James shows off uncanny memory with precise recall of all six Game 5 turnovers," 24 May 2018 With characters—aunts and uncles, careless teachers, indifferent construction workers, bosses, girls, and thugs!— people who looked and felt real, if not a little subdued, in their colorations. Tom Chiarella, Popular Mechanics, "Stan Lee Taught Me to Love Storytelling," 13 Nov. 2018 The Cook County medical examiner’s office said Braschko died from thermal injuries caused by careless use of smoking materials, and her death was determined to be an accident. Chicago Tribune Staff,, "Woman dies following fire at Rolling Meadows home," 17 Apr. 2018 Every year, some 700,000 deaths are attributed to pathogens that are resistant to penicillin and other drugs designed to kill them — largely in response to overprescription and careless disposal. Jonathon Keats, Discover Magazine, "Bacteria That Eat Drugs Could Help Solve the Antibiotic Resistance Crisis," 8 Nov. 2018 But the more Mehl learned about what occurred at the fertility center—the careless way her precious genetic material was handled, and how the industry as a whole lacks government oversight and regulation—her furor bubbled. Kayla Webley Adler, Marie Claire, "When Your Dreams of Motherhood Are Destroyed," 1 Oct. 2018 Despite the signal word danger on most such labels, gardeners may instead just see vinegar and be careless. Margaret Roach, Good Housekeeping, "Why It Can Be Dangerous to Use Vinegar to Kill Weeds," 15 Aug. 2018 The bags are also made from ballistic shell, a super sturdy and water-resistant material that ensures your bag will survive everything from a kayaking trip to the careless toss of a baggage handler. Mara Balagtas, Condé Nast Traveler, "This New Duffle is Made for the Adventure Traveler," 1 Aug. 2018

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'careless.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

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First Known Use of careless

before the 12th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1a

History and Etymology for careless

see care entry 1

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Statistics for careless

Last Updated

14 Jan 2019

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Time Traveler for careless

The first known use of careless was before the 12th century

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More Definitions for careless



English Language Learners Definition of careless

: not using care : not careful

: done, made, or said without enough thought or attention


care·​less | \ ˈker-ləs \

Kids Definition of careless

1 : not taking proper care a careless worker
2 : done, made, or said without being careful a careless mistake
3 : carefree

Other Words from careless

carelessly adverb
carelessness noun



Legal Definition of careless 

: not showing due care : negligent careless driving — compare reckless

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More from Merriam-Webster on careless

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for careless

Spanish Central: Translation of careless

Nglish: Translation of careless for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of careless for Arabic Speakers

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