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

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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 jury also found the First Baptist Church of New Port Richey negligent for not keeping seat belts in the van within reach. Justin Price, The Courier-Journal, "Churches put faith in old vans that expose passengers to deadly risk," 10 May 2018 Jurors found the university negligent for a delay in notification about the gunman. Nick Anderson, Washington Post, "Charles Steger, who led Virginia Tech through tragedy and a building boom, dies at 70," 7 May 2018 The lawsuit accuses Ripley Entertainment and the other defendants of negligence, product liability, outrageous conduct, wrongful death, negligent infliction of emotional distress, and violating the Missouri Merchandising Practices Act. Fox News, "Lawsuit filed in deadly Missouri duck boat sinking seeks $100 million," 30 July 2018 Natalia Diaz-Valle, 20, pleaded guilty in January to one count of negligent manslaughter by automobile for a 2017 crash that fatally injured a Halethorpe man who was leaving a fast-food restaurant parking lot on Route 1. Jess Nocera, Howard County Times, "Jessup woman sentenced for 2017 crash that killed Halethorpe driver," 8 June 2018 Gun control remains just an Idea Worthy Of Discussion, and the lawmakers who are paid off by the NRA to be professionally negligent are never frightened into finally taking action. Drew Magary, GQ, "The Importance of Rudeness," 22 Feb. 2018 Thursday, Petco was found not negligent for the death of a 10-year-old boy who contracted an infectious disease from a rat purchased at one of their stores. Taysha Murtaugh, Country Living, "A Jury Just Sided With Petco in Lawsuit Over Boy's Tragic Death," 21 Apr. 2017 The other 60% are charged with involuntary manslaughter, negligent homicide, or even second-degree murder, depending on the circumstances (such as a history of child abuse or substance abuse). Kaitlin Menza, Good Housekeeping, "Another Forgotten Child Died in a Car — And Sadly, This Is Still Too Common," 12 May 2016 Cal Fire investigators found no negligence on the part of PG&E. Nonetheless, California law compels utilities to pay for damages from wildfires if their equipment caused the blazes — even if the utilities weren’t negligent. Olga R. Rodriguez, The Seattle Times, "Officials: Power lines ignited fatal blaze in California," 10 Oct. 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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Last Updated

3 Apr 2019

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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 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

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