care·​less | \ ˈker-ləs How to pronounce careless (audio) \

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

At the hospital, the trooper cited the man for careless driving and possession of heroin and methamphetamine., "Six-time convicted felon lies, implicates brother, then gets assault rifle back from state police after crash," 9 July 2019 The driver of the other vehicle was ticketed for careless driving with serious bodily injury, according to the police report. Fox News, "Drunken driver leaves Disney intern paralyzed after car crash," 7 July 2019 And that gave Richards tacit permission to be as careless as the moment demanded. Chris Richards, Washington Post, "The Rolling Stones want to teach you how to live forever," 4 July 2019 Often, these sorts of alarms can result in careless re-arrest when taken too seriously, placing burdens on those wearing the devices and interfering with their ability to hold down a job or fulfill family duties. Andrew Boryga,, "Accused rapist takes off, showing that ankle monitors aren’t a perfect solution," 3 July 2019 This sort of careless talk can cost people their freedom. Madeline Roache, Time, "A British-Iranian Woman and Her Husband Are On Hunger Strike Over Her Imprisonment in Iran," 21 June 2019 Police cited Oliver with careless driving and two counts of no child restraint (under 13 years old not properly restrained). Robert Rhoden,, "Teen dies, three others critical after rollover crash in Hammond: State Police," 17 June 2019 Playing as if their hands were coated with Vaseline, the Legion had been careless with possession all game, and this final bobble would likely doom them. Griff Lacey / San Diego Legion, San Diego Union-Tribune, "Legion win in closing seconds, will host MLR championship match," 9 June 2019 May 2 is World Password Day, a chance for security companies to plead with lazy, careless humans to improve their password habits. Melissa Riofrio, PCWorld, "5 alarming facts in honor of World Password Day," 2 May 2019

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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Dictionary Entries near careless








Statistics for careless

Last Updated

14 Jul 2019

Look-up Popularity

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 How to pronounce careless (audio) \

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

What made you want to look up careless? Please tell us where you read or heard it (including the quote, if possible).


an act or instance of editing or removing

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