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 sin of presumption apparently has been omitted from Mayor Pete’s negligent Episcopalian Sunday school curriculum. Kevin D. Williamson, National Review, "Playing God," 8 Sep. 2019 In September 2018, Melanie Lester, the widow of patient David Lester, who died of a heart attack in 2016, alleged in a suit against 25 Again that its negligent treatment caused his death. Andrew Wolfson, The Courier-Journal, "25 Again clinic sued again — this time for not paying rent, lawsuit says," 1 Aug. 2019 He was booked into the Marin County Jail on suspicion of vehicular manslaughter during operation of a vessel, willful harm or injury to a child and reckless or negligent operation of a vessel. Anna Bauman, SFChronicle.com, "Father arrested after his 11-year-old son is killed in boat accident near Angel Island," 16 Sep. 2019 As a result, neither NGSE nor PST is liable for any negligent or willful act or failure to act of any Other Provider, or of any other third party. National Geographic, "Terms & Conditions," 15 Sep. 2019 The law was enacted during the 19th century to punish negligent captains, engineers and pilots for deadly steamboat accidents that killed thousands. NBC News, "All six crew members asleep when fire broke out on California diving boat, NTSB finds," 12 Sep. 2019 Moving forward without a full, impartial re-think about structure, personnel and procedure feels negligent. San Diego Union-Tribune, "Column: Lesson from horse racing’s Justify, Triple Crown mess: Fix CHRB," 12 Sep. 2019 After 29 months in jail, a jury in Oakland, California, acquitted Max Harris of 36 counts of negligent involuntary manslaughter on Sept. 5 stemming from the 2016 Ghost Ship warehouse fire where 36 people lost their lives. Taylor Mims, Billboard, "Ghost Ship Attorney on His Client's Acquittal, Defending One of 'the Most Hated People in America'," 11 Sep. 2019 On Thursday, Tanner Ronald Kruckeberg, 25, of Dodge Center, pleaded guilty in Dodge County District Court to a single count of criminal vehicular homicide — operate a motor vehicle in a grossly negligent manner. Forum News Service, Twin Cities, "Hummer driver pleads guilty to being on phone, killing 2 in rear-end crash," 5 Sep. 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

16 Oct 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

tired or exhausted

Get Word of the Day daily email!

Test Your Vocabulary

Where in the World? A Quiz

  • peter bruegel tower of babel painting
  • What language does pajama come from?
Spell It

Can you spell these 10 commonly misspelled words?

TAKE THE QUIZ
Bee Cubed

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!