negligent

adjective
neg·​li·​gent | \ ˈne-gli-jənt How to pronounce negligent (audio) \

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

Keep scrolling for more

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 But negligent behavior puts a lot of people at risk, including frontline workers and their families. Steve Lopez Columnist, Los Angeles Times, 23 Dec. 2020 The lawsuit alleged the operator was negligent by prematurely starting the ride in violation of park rules and leaving it in operation even as Booher was injured and patrons yelled to stop. Ryan J. Foley, ajc, 6 July 2021 The lawsuit alleged the operator was negligent by prematurely starting the ride in violation of park rules and leaving it in operation even as Booher was injured and patrons yelled at him to stop. Ryan J. Foley, chicagotribune.com, 6 July 2021 The lawsuit alleged that the ride operator was negligent by prematurely starting the ride in violation of park rules and leaving it in operation even as Booher was down with injuries and patrons yelled at him to stop. Ryan J. Foley, Star Tribune, 5 July 2021 Jurors found that the two sheriff’s deputies who arrested Collins and two jail nurses who evaluated him were negligent in not seeking immediate medical attention. Kelly Davis, San Diego Union-Tribune, 16 June 2021 Investigators quickly arrested the 17-year-old on a charge of criminally negligent homicide. Susan Miller, USA TODAY, 13 Apr. 2021 Others to be erased include first-degree rioting that leads to physical injury and criminally negligent homicide that causes the death of another person. Christopher Keating, courant.com, 27 May 2021 In March, Miller pleaded guilty to a reduced charge of criminally negligent homicide and drunk driving. Michelle Theriault Boots, Anchorage Daily News, 24 May 2021

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.

See More

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

Keep scrolling for more

Learn More About negligent

Time Traveler for negligent

Time Traveler

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

See more words from the same century

Dictionary Entries Near negligent

negligency

negligent

negligent escape

See More Nearby Entries 

Statistics for negligent

Last Updated

22 Jul 2021

Cite this Entry

“Negligent.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/negligent. Accessed 27 Jul. 2021.

Style: MLA
MLACheck Mark Icon ChicagoCheck Mark Icon APACheck Mark Icon Merriam-WebsterCheck Mark Icon

Keep scrolling for more

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 How to pronounce negligent (audio) \

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 How to pronounce negligent (audio) \

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

More from Merriam-Webster on negligent

Nglish: Translation of negligent for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of negligent for Arabic Speakers

WORD OF THE DAY

Test Your Vocabulary

Difficult Spelling Words Quiz

  • alphabet pasta spelling help
  • Which is the correct spelling?
Spell It

Can you spell these 10 commonly misspelled words?

TAKE THE QUIZ
Universal Daily Crossword

A daily challenge for crossword fanatics.

TAKE THE QUIZ
Love words? Need even more definitions?

Subscribe to America's largest dictionary and get thousands more definitions and advanced search—ad free!