re·​miss | \ri-ˈmis \

Definition of remiss 

1 : negligent in the performance of work or duty : careless

2 : showing neglect or inattention : lax

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Other Words from remiss

remissly adverb
remissness noun

Choose the Right Synonym for remiss

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

Examples of remiss in a Sentence

It would be remiss of me if I did not share with you the vital role God has played in my recovery. — Jennifer Howard, Undoing Time, 2001 But if we do not address these complexities in the public arena, and in ways that are spatially theoretically grounded, we will be remiss in carrying out our scholarly and civic responsibilities. — Saul B. Cohen, Annals of the Association of American Geographers, December 1991 "Well, Sally, I'm in fault, and I acknowledge it; I've been remiss; but I won't let tomorrow go by without stopping up them holes." — Mark Twain, The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn, 1885 I would be remiss if I didn't tell you how much I appreciated the lovely gift.
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Recent Examples on the Web

This roundup would be remiss without Bare Minerals’ powder foundation, a beauty community staple and Allure Best of Beauty winner. Wendy Gould, Allure, "The 9 Best Powder Foundations to Thwart Summer Sweat," 3 July 2018 Any survey of women in technology would be remiss to exclude perhaps the two most famous female computer-programming pioneers. Anna Wiener, The New Republic, "The Internet Women Made," 1 May 2018 Going back to Gonzaga—without even assessing options—would be remiss. Jeremy Woo,, "2018 NBA Draft: Four Prospects Who Should Test the Waters," 4 Apr. 2018 Goodell would be remiss to punt on this issue beyond May. Everybody needs clarity. George Diaz,, "Goodell, NFL can't dawdle on NFL National Anthem controversy," 28 Mar. 2018 Juwan Morgan: Would be remiss to let the last Stock Watch of the season pass without mentioning IU’s MVP. Zach Osterman, Indianapolis Star, "IU basketball stock watch: Justin Smith keeps rising, but turnovers rear their ugly head again," 26 Feb. 2018 The staff member was also quoted as saying that officials were remiss after workers began showing symptoms. USA TODAY, "Norovirus at Olympics has officials scrambling, worried," 7 Feb. 2018 Classical music has been remiss in addressing themes associated with the Black Lives Matter movement, certainly to the extent that artists working in film, theater, literature and visual art are doing. John Von Rhein,, "Lawrence Brownlee delivers committed reading of new song cycle about being black and male in America," 23 Feb. 2018 But Yu would be remiss to offer only whiskies on his menu. Shelbie Lynn Bostedt,, "Move over, sake: Chicago's thirst for Japanese whisky is on the rise," 11 Sep. 2017

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

15th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1

History and Etymology for remiss

Middle English remisse, borrowed from Latin remissus "relaxed, free from constraint, casual, lenient," from past participle of remittere "to send back, release, relax, ease off" — more at remit entry 1

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Time Traveler for remiss

The first known use of remiss was in the 15th century

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More Definitions for remiss



English Language Learners Definition of remiss

: not showing enough care and attention


re·​miss | \ri-ˈmis \

Kids Definition of remiss

: careless in the performance of work or duty I was remiss in paying my bills.

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Comments on remiss

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


obstinately defiant of authority

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