1

neglect

verb ne·glect \ ni-ˈglekt \
Updated on: 3 Dec 2017

Definition of neglect

transitive verb
1 : to give little attention or respect to : disregard
  • The building has been neglected for years.
2 : to leave undone or unattended to especially through carelessness
  • The prison guard neglected his duty.

neglecter

noun

Examples of neglect in a Sentence

  1. The building has been neglected for years.

  2. The city has neglected the teacher shortage for too long.

  3. The prison guard neglected his duty.

Recent Examples of neglect from the Web

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

Origin and Etymology of neglect

borrowed from Latin neglēctus, past participle of neglegere, neclegere "to disregard, do nothing about, fail to care for," from nec "not" (probably from ne- "not" + -ce, deictic element, going back to Indo-European *ḱe, *ḱi) + legere "to gather, select, read" — more at 1no, 1he, legend
Note: The Latin formative nec in this word and (with invariable voicing) in negō, negāre "to deny" (see negate) and negōtium "business, difficulty" (see negotiate) is presumably identical with Old Latin nec "not" and distinct from nec as a reduced form of neque "and not."

neglect Synonyms

Synonyms
bypass, disregard, forget, ignore, overlook, overpass, pass over, slight, slur (over)
Antonyms
attend (to), heed, mind, regard, tend (to)
Related Words
fail; miss, omit; brush (aside or off), reject, shrug off, slough (off) also sluff (off); disdain, pooh-pooh (also pooh), scorn; scant, skimp
Near Antonyms
appreciate, cherish, prize, treasure, value; cultivate, foster, nurse, nurture; pamper; remember; listen (to), watch; follow, mark, note, notice, observe, remark

Synonym Discussion of neglect

neglect, disregard, ignore, overlook, slight, forget mean to pass over without giving due attention. neglect implies giving insufficient attention to something that merits one's attention.
    • habitually neglected his studies
disregard suggests voluntary inattention.
    • disregarded the wishes of his family
ignore implies a failure to regard something obvious.
    • ignored the snide remark
overlook suggests disregarding or ignoring through haste or lack of care.
    • in my rush I overlooked a key example
slight implies contemptuous or disdainful disregarding or omitting.
    • slighted several major authors in her survey
forget may suggest either a willful ignoring or a failure to impress something on one's mind.
    • forget what others say

2

neglect

noun

Definition of neglect

1 : an act or instance of neglecting something
2 : the condition of being neglected

Examples of neglect in a Sentence

  1. The park was overgrown and littered from years of neglect.

  2. The parents were charged with child neglect.

  3. The house is in a state of neglect.

Recent Examples of neglect from the Web

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

Origin and Etymology of neglect

borrowed from Latin neglēctus, from neglegere, neclegere "to disregard, do nothing about, 1neglect" + -tus, suffix of verbal action


NEGLECT Defined for English Language Learners

neglect

verb

Definition of neglect for English Language Learners

  • : to fail to take care of or to give attention to (someone or something)

  • : to fail to do (something)


neglect

noun

Definition of neglect for English Language Learners

  • : lack of attention or care that someone or something needs

  • : the condition of not being taken care of


NEGLECT Defined for Kids

1

neglect

verb ne·glect \ ni-ˈglekt \

Definition of neglect for Students

neglected; neglecting
1 : to fail to give the right amount of attention to
  • The property has been neglected.
2 : to fail to do or look after especially because of carelessness
  • She neglected to say goodbye.

Synonym Discussion of neglect

neglect and disregard mean to pass over something without giving it any or enough attention. neglect is used when a person does not give, whether deliberately or not, enough attention to something that deserves or requires attention.
    • You have been neglecting your homework.
disregard is used for deliberately overlooking something usually because it is not considered worth noticing.
    • He disregarded the “keep out” sign.

2

neglect

noun

Definition of neglect for Students

1 : lack of attention or care to something or someone
  • neglect of duty
2 : the state of not being looked after or given attention
  • The house suffers from neglect.

Law Dictionary

neglect

noun ne·glect

legal Definition of neglect

: a disregard of duty resulting from carelessness, indifference, or willfulness; especially : a failure to provide a child under one's care with proper food, clothing, shelter, supervision, medical care, or emotional stability — compare abuse 2, negligence

neglect

transitive verb

neglectful

adjective


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