negligent

adjective
neg·​li·​gent | \ˈne-gli-jənt \

Definition of negligent 

1a : marked by or given to neglect especially habitually or culpably was a careless workman, negligent of details— Edith Hamilton

b : failing to exercise the care expected of a reasonably prudent person in like circumstances negligent about traffic regulations

2 : marked by a carelessly easy manner

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Other Words from negligent

negligently adverb

Choose the Right Synonym for negligent

negligent, neglectful, lax, slack, remiss mean culpably careless or indicative of such carelessness. negligent implies inattention to one's duty or business. negligent about writing a note of thanks neglectful adds a more disapproving implication of laziness or deliberate inattention. a society callously neglectful of the poor lax implies a blameworthy lack of strictness, severity, or precision. a reporter lax about accurate quotation slack implies want of due or necessary diligence or care. slack workmanship remiss implies blameworthy carelessness shown in slackness, forgetfulness, or neglect. had been remiss in their familial duties

Did You Know?

To be negligent is to be neglectful. Negligence is an important legal concept; it's usually defined as the failure to use the care that a normally careful person would in a given situation. Negligence is a common claim in lawsuits regarding medical malpractice, auto accidents, and workplace injuries. But you can also be negligent about answering your e-mail, or negligent in the way you dress. (The original garment called a negligee was worn by women who had neglected to get fully dressed.) The legal meanings of negligent and negligence, however, tend to be the ones we most often encounter nowadays.

Examples of negligent in a Sentence

The fire was started by a negligent smoker. He was negligent in not reporting the accident to the police.

Recent Examples on the Web

The lawsuit against Columbia Gas of Massachusetts and its parent company NiSource alleges the company was negligent and did not invest in its aging infrastructure while building more pipelines, MassLive.com reported. Fox News, "Columbia Gas customers file class-action lawsuit over Boston-area explosions, fires," 19 Sep. 2018 The jury found Moran and his supervisor, who happened to be Moran’s brother, negligent for not investigating Palomba’s rape claim properly, and awarded her $190,000. Ruth Padawer, New York Times, "Should Statutes of Limitations for Rape Be Abolished?," 19 June 2018 Even if the company is not found negligent in any way — and that is as yet unclear — Cal Fire’s announcement Friday could force the company to pay economic damages to people who lost their homes and property in the October fires. David R. Baker, San Francisco Chronicle, "PG&E, blamed for 12 Northern California fires, faces financial and political peril," 8 June 2018 Brooks continues to express his displeasure in the podcast, describing Amann as incompetent, negligent and non-responsive to his concerns. Nihal Kolur, SI.com, "CM Punk Wins Civil Lawsuit Against WWE Dr. Chris Amann," 5 June 2018 Bennett’s family filed a lawsuit Wednesday alleging Sunrise and its executive director were negligent and led to the man’s death. Ben Brasch, ajc, "Family sues Cobb elderly facility where man, 91, was beaten to death," 1 June 2018 One of those contractors, Granite Construction, counters that city officials were themselves negligent and should be on the hook for paying a share of whatever the repair costs turn out to be. Tony Bizjak, sacbee, "This $69 million project is only 5 years old. It already has cracks. | The Sacramento Bee," 26 Apr. 2018 Distributors were negligent and allowed an abundance of drugs to flow into Ohio, despite evidence suggesting drug diversion, the lawsuit says. Justin Madden, cleveland.com, "Ohio sues opioid distributors, says negligence flooded state with powerful painkillers," 26 Feb. 2018 Ryan Rodriguez, 21, was found guilty of criminally negligent homicide Monday in the death of 14-year-old Melody Cerros, who died instantly from the gunshot wound on June 28, 2016. Elizabeth Zavala, San Antonio Express-News, "San Antonio man who fatally shot teen in 2016 gets 10 years," 30 Jan. 2018

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'negligent.' 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 negligent

14th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1a

History and Etymology for negligent

Middle English necligent, negligent, borrowed from Anglo-French & Latin; Anglo-French, borrowed from Latin neglegent-, neglegens (also neclegens, negligens), present participle of neglegere, neclegere "to disregard, do nothing about, fail to care for" — more at neglect entry 1

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Statistics for negligent

Last Updated

11 Dec 2018

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Time Traveler for negligent

The first known use of negligent was in the 14th century

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More Definitions for negligent

negligent

adjective

English Language Learners Definition of negligent

: failing to take proper or normal care of something or someone

negligent

adjective
neg·​li·​gent | \ˈne-glə-jənt \

Kids Definition of negligent

: failing to take proper or normal care of something or someone

Other Words from negligent

negligently adverb

negligent

adjective
neg·​li·​gent | \ˈne-gli-jənt \

Legal Definition of negligent 

: marked by, given to, or produced by negligence a negligent act the defendant was negligent

Other Words from negligent

negligently adverb

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