neg·​li·​gi·​ble ˈne-gli-jə-bəl How to pronounce negligible (audio)
: 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
negligibility noun
negligibly 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 The tax on non-qualified distributions applies only to earnings, not contributions, and will be negligible while the student is in college and has no or very low income. Liz Weston, San Diego Union-Tribune, 18 Feb. 2024 Leak impacts are negligible because the pipelines will be under the river. Letters To The Editor, The Mercury News, 16 Feb. 2024 And with current prices and mortgage rates so high, there is often a negligible cost difference between their current home and a smaller one. Anna Bahney, CNN, 29 Jan. 2024 So the loss of, say, a few hundred or even thousand hunting, fishing, and recreational permits may be negligible. Natalie Krebs, Outdoor Life, 7 Feb. 2024 And while some were negligible — take a bow, U2, Travis Scott and Payboi Carti — women artists accounted for all the highlights. George Varga, San Diego Union-Tribune, 6 Feb. 2024 Ovadia points to a 2019 study which states that the risk is negligible. Carina Woudenberg, Discover Magazine, 2 Feb. 2024 This year, the U.K. had about a 3,500 drop in HNWIs, while China has been negligible since 2017. Abby Montanez, Robb Report, 20 Dec. 2023 Based on past experience, the chance of my being called to attend to anyone in the pediatric ER seemed negligible. Andrew Weil, Harper's Magazine, 13 Dec. 2023 See More

These examples are programmatically compiled from various online sources to illustrate current usage of the word 'negligible.' Any opinions expressed in the examples do not represent those of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback about these examples.

Word History


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

First Known Use

1829, in the meaning defined above

Time Traveler
The first known use of negligible was in 1829

Dictionary Entries Near negligible

Cite this Entry

“Negligible.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 28 Feb. 2024.

Kids Definition


neg·​li·​gi·​ble ˈneg-li-jə-bəl How to pronounce negligible (audio)
: so small or unimportant as to deserve little or no attention
a negligible error
negligibly adverb

More from Merriam-Webster on negligible

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