care·​less | \-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

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 Germany would not be so careless as to make the same mistake. Rory Smith, New York Times, "For Germany, a Defeat Both Stunning and Foreboding," 17 June 2018 As far as this column can tell the Spartans were neither extremely careless nor grossly negligent with information about U.S. military operations overseas. James Freeman, WSJ, "The FBI’s March Madness," 15 Mar. 2018 All that thieves need to do is hoodwink Philadelphia’s Records Department and its gullible and often careless deed room. Craig R. Mccoy,, "A Philadelphia story: Falsely declared dead, home stolen and no one will help," 29 June 2018 Sometime that night, as the Yarnell Hill Fire continued its careless march through central Arizona, Steve and Celeste carried themselves to bed. Alden Woods, azcentral, "Granite Mountain Hotshots: Five years on, Dustin DeFord's family finds peace in faith," 29 June 2018 Don't confuse this disease with less-serious scurf, which creates small, round, dark spots on tuber surfaces but doesn't affect eating quality. Stem rot, or wilt, is a fungus that enters plants injured by insects, careless cultivation, or wind. The Editors Of Organic Life, Good Housekeeping, "How To Grow Perfect Sweet Potatoes In Your Backyard," 15 Mar. 2017 Kevin Harrell, 51, of Wilmington, is now charged with operating a motor vessel while impaired and careless and reckless operation of a motor vehicle in connection with the incident, reports the Wilmington Star. Mark Price, charlotteobserver, "4 hurt, 3 boats wrecked, 3 docks sliced during chain reaction of havoc at NC coast," 8 June 2018 In addition to the charges, Cofield was also given citations for refusing to submit to a breath test, fleeing and eluding, and careless driving. Michael Williams,, "NFL player arrested in Lake Mary on heroin charges after ramming police car, authorities say," 5 July 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

17 Nov 2018

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Time Traveler for careless

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

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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

Comments on careless

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a private place of worship

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