negligent

adjective neg·li·gent \ ˈne-gli-jənt \
Updated on: 15 Nov 2017

Definition of negligent

1 a :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

negligently

adverb

Examples of negligent in a Sentence

  1. The fire was started by a negligent smoker.

  2. He was negligent in not reporting the accident to the police.

Recent Examples of negligent from the Web

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.

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.

Origin and Etymology of 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 1neglect

Synonym Discussion of 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

NEGLIGENT Defined for English Language Learners

negligent

adjective

Definition of negligent for English Language Learners

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


NEGLIGENT Defined for Kids

negligent

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

Definition of negligent for Students

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

negligently

adverb

Law Dictionary

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

negligently

adverb


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