neglect

verb
ne·​glect | \ ni-ˈglekt How to pronounce neglect (audio) \
neglected; neglecting; neglects

Definition of neglect

 (Entry 1 of 2)

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.

neglect

noun

Definition of neglect (Entry 2 of 2)

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

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Other Words from neglect

Verb

neglecter noun

Synonyms & Antonyms for neglect

Synonyms: Verb

bypass, disregard, forget, ignore, overlook, overpass, pass over, slight, slur (over)

Synonyms: Noun

desolation, dilapidation, disrepair, seediness

Antonyms: Verb

attend (to), heed, mind, regard, tend (to)

Antonyms: Noun

keeping, repair

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Choose the Right Synonym for neglect

Verb

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

Verb

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.

Examples of neglect in a Sentence

Verb

The building has been neglected for years. The city has neglected the teacher shortage for too long. The prison guard neglected his duty.

Noun

The park was overgrown and littered from years of neglect. The parents were charged with child neglect. The house is in a state of neglect.
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Recent Examples on the Web: Verb

The Language Archive: TheatreWorks Silicon Valley presents Julia Cho’s comedy about a linguist fighting to preserve the dying languages of far-flung cultures, only to neglect the promise and passion of his own. Anne Gelhaus, The Mercury News, "Cupertino/Sunnyvale calendar of events for the week of July 12," 12 July 2019 While many teams today neglect them, this is one coach who perceives and takes advantage of their attacking potential. SI.com, "Matthijs de Ligt: Joining Juventus Is the Right Move for the Defender," 27 June 2019 Since then the Parisians have adored it, neglected it, damaged it and desecrated it, restored and venerated it, depending on the social passions and fashions of the times. Bruce Dale, National Geographic, "Adored, neglected, and restored: A 1968 Nat Geo feature explored Notre Dame," 17 Apr. 2019 This is especially true when a boastful nation, while neglecting them, gloats over its wealth, power and world pre-eminence. Martin Luther King Jr., The Atlantic, "The Crisis in America’s Cities," 31 Mar. 2018 There’s a feeling in college baseball like we’ve been neglected and left behind. Mike Bianchi, orlandosentinel.com, "College baseball should be ashamed of ‘dehumanizing’ way it treats unpaid assistants, debt-ridden players | Commentary," 29 June 2019 But to solely focus on conditions is to neglect the fact that these are not children in Child Protective Services custody. Isaac Chotiner, The New Yorker, "Children Remain in Dangerous Conditions on the Texas Border," 25 June 2019 Sixty dusty and neglected women’s shoe molds sit in neat rows on green fabric at the entrance to the palace mosque (Waiting for Admission, by Huda Lufti). Klara Glowczewska, Town & Country, "Can Egypt Convince the World That It Is Starting Over?," 19 Mar. 2019 On top of that, people often neglect to wash their navels well, Dr. Bailey adds. Korin Miller, SELF, "5 Belly Button Infections You Can Get (and What to Do If You Have One)," 23 Feb. 2019

Recent Examples on the Web: Noun

Long years of neglect in an amusement park didn’t add a whisper of promise that the 4449 would soon be whistling down any rails, except in memory. Tom Bentley, Popular Mechanics, "Why the SP 4449 Is Such a Badass Train," 15 July 2019 The very fact of being in an institutionalized setting that results in neglect has a devastating effect on development. Isaac Chotiner, The New Yorker, "How the Stress of Separation and Detention Changes the Lives of Children," 13 July 2019 Lockwood referenced Fondren's traumatic upbringing, which consisted of poverty and neglect. Sydney Czyzon, Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, "'Humiliation and rage': Man who lost fistfight given life sentence for pulling out gun, killing man on basketball court," 12 July 2019 Distinguished by their red shirts, RedRover responders are specially trained to care for and shelter large numbers of animals after they have been rescued from cruelty and neglect cases or natural disasters. Joan Morris, The Mercury News, "East Bay shelters get help with flu-quarantined dogs," 11 July 2019 Some died of disease and neglect; others were murdered — shot while trying to escape, or tortured and lashed to death, for even minor infractions. Renée Graham, BostonGlobe.com, "In Pulitzer-winner Colson Whitehead’s ‘The Nickel Boys,’ a childhood lost to Jim Crow," 10 July 2019 The danger posed by PG&E’s neglect of its transmission lines increased around 2013, when a historic drought dried up much of California, creating extraordinary fire conditions. Russell Gold, WSJ, "PG&E Knew for Years Its Lines Could Spark Wildfires, and Didn’t Fix Them," 10 July 2019 He was transferred to OHS for continued medical care and to begin an investigation into possible abandonment and neglect. oregonlive.com, "Oregon Humane Society offering $500 reward for information on abandoned Pomeranian," 7 July 2019 New Mexico officials started their investigation after a claim of educational neglect related to the couple's four children who were living at home at the time. Faith Karimi And Chris Boyette, CNN, "A woman is accused of torturing her children and boiling their puppies in New Mexico," 3 July 2019

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.

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First Known Use of neglect

Verb

1529, in the meaning defined at sense 1

Noun

1597, in the meaning defined at sense 1

History and Etymology for neglect

Verb

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 no entry 1, he entry 1, 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."

Noun

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

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Learn More about neglect

Dictionary Entries near neglect

Negev

negidim

Negishi

neglect

neglectable

neglected

neglectful

Statistics for neglect

Last Updated

18 Jul 2019

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for neglect

The first known use of neglect was in 1529

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More Definitions for neglect

neglect

verb

English Language Learners Definition of neglect

 (Entry 1 of 2)

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

neglect

noun

English Language Learners Definition of neglect (Entry 2 of 2)

: lack of attention or care that someone or something needs
: the condition of not being taken care of

neglect

verb
ne·​glect | \ ni-ˈglekt How to pronounce neglect (audio) \
neglected; neglecting

Kids Definition of neglect

 (Entry 1 of 2)

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.

neglect

noun

Kids Definition of neglect (Entry 2 of 2)

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.

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 sense 2, negligence

Other Words from neglect

neglect transitive verb
neglectful adjective

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More from Merriam-Webster on neglect

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with neglect

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for neglect

Spanish Central: Translation of neglect

Nglish: Translation of neglect for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of neglect for Arabic Speakers

Comments on neglect

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