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

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 Yes, by cosmological error margins, everything that can be touched, felt, or seen is pretty much negligible. Chris Lee, Ars Technica, "Dark matter halos may leave twinkling wake in galaxies," 31 May 2018 The Houston Texans use dynamic pricing for individual game tickets, but the effect on fans is relatively negligible because the Texans sell 67,000 season tickets, spokeswoman Amy Palcic said. Mark Collette, Houston Chronicle, "Astros ticket buyers notice dynamic prices after World Series win," 24 May 2018 So the gains from a partial deal will be negligible and Iran may well sooner or later restart its nuclear programme. The Economist, "Scrapping the Iran deal won’t do anyone any good," 12 May 2018 There will be negligible legislating by the next Congress, so ballots cast this November will be most important as validations or repudiations of the harmonizing voices of Trump, Pence, Arpaio and the like. Ed Kilgore, Daily Intelligencer, "George Will Calls ‘Repulsive’ Pence Worse Than Trump," 10 May 2018 After struggling for years and reeling under heavy losses because of near-negligible sales and poor acceptance, Fiat Chrysler Automobiles has finally started to get noticed in India. Pankaj Radhe, Detroit Free Press, "Jeep Compass puts FCA's foot in the door of growing India market," 16 Apr. 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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Last Updated

5 Sep 2018

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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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Comments on negligible

What made you want to look up negligible? Please tell us where you read or heard it (including the quote, if possible).


occurring twice a year or every two years

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