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

The officer has been charged with negligent homicide. Catherine Kim, Vox, "Vox Sentences: Trump throws census plans out the window," 4 July 2019 Volodymyr Zhukovskyy, 23, pleaded not guilty Tuesday to negligent homicide charges in Friday's fatal crash. Danny Hermosillo, Houston Chronicle, "Driver accused in fatal crash that killed 7 motorcyclists had run-ins with Baytown police," 26 June 2019 Zhukovskyy, 23 -- who investigators say was driving erratically, causing Friday's collision -- has pleaded not guilty to seven charges of negligent homicide. Eliott C. Mclaughlin, CNN, "Truck driver charged with killing motorcyclists in New Hampshire shouldn't have had a license, Massachusetts official says," 26 June 2019 Authorities said Tuesday that 23-year-old Volodymyr Zhukovskyy waived his arraignment on negligent homicide charges. Washington Post, "The Latest: Mass RMV head resigns over crash that killed 7," 25 June 2019 The pickup driver, 23-year-old Volodoymyr Zhukovskyy, was arrested and charged with seven counts of negligent homicide, according to CBS News. Ashley Boucher, PEOPLE.com, "400 Bikers Pay Tribute to Motorcyclists Killed in New Hampshire Crash: 'When They Fall, We All Fall'," 24 June 2019 The Utah attorney general’s office charged Clyde with negligent homicide. Sharon Cohen, The Denver Post, "AP Investigation: Many U.S. jails fail to stop inmate suicides," 18 June 2019 He was being held without bond on the vehicular manslaughter, vehicular negligent injuring charges and switched license plate charges, according to jail records. Jennifer Larino, nola.com, "3 men killed Sunday in multi-vehicle crash on Westbank Expressway," 17 June 2019 Basically, authorities said, the criminally negligent homicide is failing to perceive the dangers. Carol Robinson | Crobinson@al.com, al.com, "Birmingham teen convicted of misdemeanor in fatal shooting of Huffman classmate Courtlin Arrington," 13 June 2019

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

Statistics for negligent

Last Updated

10 Jul 2019

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for negligent

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

See more words from the same century

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

Keep scrolling for more

Comments on negligent

What made you want to look up negligent? Please tell us where you read or heard it (including the quote, if possible).

WORD OF THE DAY

an act or instance of editing or removing

Get Word of the Day daily email!

Test Your Vocabulary

What's that Smell?! Quiz

  • wide eyed dog smelling rose
  • Someone who is hircine smells like a:
True or False

Test your knowledge - and maybe learn something along the way.

TAKE THE QUIZ
Word Winder's CrossWinder

Test Your Knowledge - and learn some interesting things along the way.

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!