neg·​li·​gi·​ble | \ˈne-gli-jə-bəl \

Definition of negligible 

: so small or unimportant or of so little consequence as to warrant little or no attention : trifling a negligible error last year sales were negligible a negligible risk a negligible effect

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Other Words from negligible

negligibility \ ˌne-​gli-​jə-​ˈbi-​lə-​tē \ noun
negligibly \ ˈne-​gli-​jə-​blē \ adverb

Did You Know?

Negligible comes from the same Latin verb as neglect, so something negligible is literally "neglectable". If an accident results in negligible damage to your car, you should be thankful. If two years of intense focus on testing in the classroom results in a negligible improvement in student test scores, it's probably time to try something new.

Examples of negligible in a Sentence

A negligible amount of damage was done to the vehicle. The price difference was negligible.

Recent Examples on the Web

In at least 14 of the states where Republican senators are up in 2020, the chances of a successful Democratic challenge are negligible. Allen C. Guelzo, WSJ, "The Blue Wave Breaks Gently," 9 Nov. 2018 Olivier Rabin, who leads the science division at WADA, said that screening methods will eventually become so robust that doping will be negligible. Umair Irfan, Vox, "Olympic swimmer Ryan Lochte broke doping rules. It happens far more than you think.," 24 July 2018 Standard & Poor’s and Fitch also currently rate Italian debt two notches above junk, so the risk of a deeper crisis is hardly negligible. Simon Nixon, WSJ, "Italy Still Has Time to Avert a Disaster," 30 May 2018 Of course, risks of violence at school are not negligible. New York Times, "Why Campus Shootings Are So Shocking: School Is the ‘Safest Place’ for a Child," 22 May 2018 An 11 percentage point relative boost in shooting when on a hit-streak is not negligible. Adam Sanjurjo, Scientific American, "Momentum Isn’t Magic—Vindicating the Hot Hand with the Mathematics of Streaks," 28 Mar. 2018 Meanwhile the agency’s supply warehouse on Puerto Rico had zero cots, zero tarps and an almost negligible stockpile of food and water, its limited contents depleted during another storm two weeks earlier. Laignee Barron, Time, "FEMA Says It Was Significantly Unprepared When Hurricane Maria Hit Puerto Rico," 13 July 2018 He's forced — yet again — to argue that a 10-year-old girl with Down syndrome being separated from her parents is negligible and a distraction. Aaron Blake, Washington Post, "Corey Lewandowski’s predictably idiotic Down-syndrome gaffe," 20 June 2018 All the tiny things that make the pencil slightly better than another may be negligible to you, sort of like the iPhone 8 versus the 8 Plus. Kathleen Hou, The Cut, "A Brow Pencil That’s a Little Bit Better Than Everything Else Out There," 7 June 2018

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'negligible.' 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 negligible

1829, in the meaning defined above

History and Etymology for negligible

Latinization of French négligeable, from négliger "to disregard, neglect" (going back to Middle French negliger, borrowed from Latin neglegere, neclegere "to disregard, do nothing about") + -able -able — more at neglect entry 1

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Statistics for negligible

Last Updated

14 Nov 2018

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for negligible

The first known use of negligible was in 1829

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More Definitions for negligible



English Language Learners Definition of negligible

: very small or unimportant


neg·​li·​gi·​ble | \ˈne-glə-jə-bəl \

Kids Definition of negligible

: so small or unimportant as to deserve little or no attention Crops received a negligible amount of rainfall.

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