neg·​li·​gi·​ble | \ ˈne-gli-jə-bəl How to pronounce negligible (audio) \

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 How to pronounce negligibility (audio) \ noun
negligibly \ ˈne-​gli-​jə-​blē How to pronounce negligibly (audio) \ 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 Allen countered that the District was on par with Maryland when state and local taxes are combined and said the increases would be negligible for the wealthy. Washington Post, "D.C. Council raises gas and other taxes, rejects tax increase on wealthy, during first budget vote," 8 July 2020 In 1967, the number of African American families earning $200,000 or more a year was negligible. Adolph Reed Jr., The New Republic, "The Surprising Cross-Racial Saga of Modern Wealth Inequality," 29 June 2020 But for some, especially small, local operations, the jump from 33% to 50% capacity is negligible. Savannah Eadens, The Courier-Journal, "Some Louisville restaurants can open at 50% on Monday. Here's what that means for diners," 23 June 2020 While there have been instances of malfeasance, the rate of voter fraud of any kind remains negligible. Arden Farhi, Nicole Sganga, CBS News, "Donald Trump's campaign manager didn't vote for Donald Trump in 2016," 19 June 2020 Even two years later, Oppenheim, whose wife was then pregnant, canceled a trip to a conference in Bogotá, despite the fact that his own company's research told him the risk of Zika-carrying mosquitoes at the city's altitude was negligible. Evan Ratliff, Wired, "We Can Protect the Economy From Pandemics. Why Didn't We?," 16 June 2020 In that system, if there are twenty dividers, twenty people can vote at a time, and the cost of increasing the number exponentially is negligible. Sue Halpern, The New Yorker, "How Electronic Voting in Georgia Resulted in a Disenfranchising Debacle," 12 June 2020 Yet state leaders have not stuck with the kinds of lockdowns that suppressed the virus in other countries; nobody has suggested that cases must be brought to negligible levels before normal activity can resume. Robinson Meyer, The Atlantic, "America Is Giving Up on the Pandemic," 7 June 2020 Before owners of the 2019 e-tron get too upset, Audi admitted to Car and Driver that the 2021 e-tron will charge a little more quickly, but overall the time difference is negligible. Roberto Baldwin, Car and Driver, "Audi Fine-Tunes e-tron Battery System, Aiming for Faster Charging," 5 June 2020

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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Time Traveler for negligible

Time Traveler

The first known use of negligible was in 1829

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Statistics for negligible

Last Updated

10 Jul 2020

Cite this Entry

“Negligible.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 13 Jul. 2020.

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More Definitions for negligible


How to pronounce negligible (audio)

English Language Learners Definition of negligible

: very small or unimportant


neg·​li·​gi·​ble | \ ˈne-glə-jə-bəl How to pronounce negligible (audio) \

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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Comments on negligible

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