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

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 Waters was not popping off, making some careless remark. Rebecca Traister, The Cut, "Summer of Rage," 29 June 2018 The orange phones are the bane of litter-decrying French environmentalists and a symbol of careless, throwaway cartoon strip capitalism. Andrew Moseman, Popular Mechanics, "A 35-Year-Old Garfield Novelty Telephone Mystery Has Been Solved," 29 Mar. 2019 The fire is believed to have started outside due to careless disposal of smoking materials, Farley said. Alejandro Serrano And Adam Sennott,, "12 people displaced in 5-alarm apartment building fire in Ayer," 18 June 2018 When the difference between five jobs done reasonably well and eight jobs done in careless haste is $4,800, a short amount of time represents a lot of money. Tim Blair, WSJ, "Green New Deal: A Cautionary Tale," 11 Feb. 2019 In a world in which well-meaning but sometimes careless biologists are creating dangerous organisms in the lab, such accidental release events could prove even more frightening. R. Daniel Bressler, Vox, "“Designer bugs”: how the next pandemic might come from a lab," 6 Dec. 2018 That one company or another has harvested your data or left it unsecured because that company is specifically and particularly greedy, incompetent, or careless. Eric Limer, Popular Mechanics, "Tech Companies Shouldn't Make Us Trust Them, At All," 11 Jan. 2019 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

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

19 May 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).


using a distributed computer network

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