inadvertent

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adjective in·ad·ver·tent \ˌi-nəd-ˈvər-tənt\

Definition of inadvertent

  1. 1 :  not focusing the mind on a matter :  inattentive

  2. 2 :  unintentional an inadvertent omission

inadvertently

adverb

Examples of inadvertent in a Sentence

  1. an inadvertent encounter with a rattlesnake in the brush

Recent Examples of inadvertent from the Web

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'inadvertent.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

The Formation of Inadvertent

It may look innocent, but inadvertent belongs to a class of words that provoke anger in many people who care about language – to wit, the back-formation. Bucking the usual trend in which longer words are formed from shorter ones by the addition of an affix (for example, superficiality from superficial), back-formations are created by clipping off a piece of a longer word; in this case, inadvertent was back-formed from inadvertence or inadvertency. A fair number of these words populate English, including brainwash (from brainwashing), complicit (from complicity), escalate (from escalator), and televise (from television). Certain back-formations, such as liaise (which comes from liaison) rub some people the wrong way. While they are under no obligation to accept liaise, there is nothing inherently wrong with back-formations; they are just another way our language has of creating new words.

Origin and Etymology of inadvertent

back-formation from inadvertence


INADVERTENT Defined for English Language Learners

inadvertent

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adjective

Definition of inadvertent for English Language Learners

  • : not intended or planned


INADVERTENT Defined for Kids

inadvertent

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adjective in·ad·ver·tent \ˌi-nəd-ˈvər-tənt\

Definition of inadvertent for Students

  1. :  not intended or deliberate :  accidental an inadvertent mistake

inadvertently

adverb


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