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 Road accidents from careless driving, unsafe passing, not wearing seatbelts, driving under the influence, or speeding on unfamiliar winding mountain roads at night. Michael Goldstein, Forbes, 5 July 2021 But getting careless by spending too many days in the wrong nation or getting arrested at a stopover in Athens or Madrid on his way to Rio isn't the only way that Ghosn could face extradition to Tokyo. Shawn Tully, Fortune, 10 Jan. 2020 It’s a water mold fungus that splashes on the stems during rainstorms and careless irrigation. Neil Sperry, San Antonio Express-News, 2 July 2021 In the absence of hard evidence, careless lab leak speculation, or overstating the case for a lab leak relative to other origins stories, amounts to the casual slander of distinguished Chinese scientists. Lindsay Beyerstein, The New Republic, 29 June 2021 Obesity was long viewed in this country as a moral failing, a product of people being lazy and careless with their diets. NBC News, 27 June 2021 Brooks was also charged with felony simultaneous possession of drugs and firearms, careless and prohibited driving, and making an improper right turn. The Arkansas Democrat-gazette, Arkansas Online, 25 June 2021 In overtime, Beauvillier, who had not scored in his 10 previous playoff games, stole a careless pass from Blake Coleman from the corner to Vasilevskiy’s left. New York Times, 24 June 2021 The Angels’ two-run second inning against Manning was set up by a careless play. Dana Gauruder, Detroit Free Press, 19 June 2021

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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Time Traveler for careless

Time Traveler

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

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Last Updated

20 Jul 2021

Cite this Entry

“Careless.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 31 Jul. 2021.

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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

More from Merriam-Webster on careless

Nglish: Translation of careless for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of careless for Arabic Speakers


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