in·​ad·​ver·​tence ˌi-nəd-ˈvər-tᵊn(t)s How to pronounce inadvertence (audio)
: the fact or action of being inadvertent
: a result of inattention : oversight

Examples of inadvertence in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web As for inventions, accident and inadvertence played a role in the development of Post-it Notes and microwave heating. Amanda Foreman, WSJ, 4 May 2018 The history of the game proceeded through intelligence, but also through inadvertence. Jay Caspian Kang, New York Times, 28 Mar. 2017

These examples are programmatically compiled from various online sources to illustrate current usage of the word 'inadvertence.' Any opinions expressed in the examples do not represent those of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback about these examples.

Word History


Middle English, from Medieval Latin inadvertentia, from Latin in- + advertent-, advertens, present participle of advertere to advert

First Known Use

15th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1

Time Traveler
The first known use of inadvertence was in the 15th century

Dictionary Entries Near inadvertence

Cite this Entry

“Inadvertence.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 28 May. 2024.

Kids Definition


in·​ad·​ver·​tence ˌin-əd-ˈvərt-ᵊn(t)s How to pronounce inadvertence (audio)
: the fact or action of being inattentive
: a result of not paying attention : oversight

Legal Definition


in·​ad·​ver·​tence ˌin-əd-ˈvərt-ᵊns How to pronounce inadvertence (audio)
: an accidental oversight (as failing to sign a form)

More from Merriam-Webster on inadvertence

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