re·​miss | \ ri-ˈmis How to pronounce remiss (audio) \

Definition of remiss

1 : negligent in the performance of work or duty : careless
2 : showing neglect or inattention : lax

Keep scrolling for more

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.
See More
Recent Examples on the Web At the same time, the Giants would be remiss in not testing their inexperienced players in big spots to help inform future decisions. Henry Schulman,, "Gabe Kapler’s early decision-making colored by Giants’ quest to win in 2020," 12 Aug. 2020 In a 2009 survey, the usage panel of the American Heritage Dictionary reviewed the following sentence: The department was remiss in not trying to dialogue with representatives of the community before hiring new officers. Jason Kehe, Wired, "The Media Monsters in the National Dialog," 8 July 2020 The White House has not been quiet about its view that American allies around the world have been remiss in contributing fairly to global security efforts. New York Times, "U.S.-India Defense Ties Grow Closer as Shared Concerns in Asia Loom," 20 Nov. 2019 Women and society at large would be remiss to stop the conversation at the firing and social exclusion of men exposed by the #MeToo movement. Zainab Salbi, Fortune, "Punishing Sexual Predators Isn’t Enough. We Need to Give Them a Path to Make Things Right," 17 Sep. 2019 But the Dolphins would be remiss to trade away a valuable first- or second-round pick in the 2020 or 2021 drafts, in addition to at least one later-round pick, to acquire Clowney. Safid Deen,, "Sell high, buy low? Laremy Tunsil, and other Miami Dolphins trade rumors ahead of the 2019 regular season," 24 Aug. 2019 Any fans of Deep Purple, Blue Cheer or other proto-metal bands would be remiss to not familiarize themselves with Mountain. Morgan Enos, Billboard, "10 Must-Hear Tracks From the Massive New Woodstock Anniversary Box Set," 2 Aug. 2019 But marketers and anyone else trying to reach people would be remiss in ignoring it. Christopher Mims, WSJ, "The Hot New Channel for Reaching Real People: Email," 19 Jan. 2019 Like Breakfast at Tiffany’s, this is one of those movies that any list of top rom-coms would be remiss without. Vogue, "The 55 Best Romantic Comedies of All Time," 1 Feb. 2019

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.

See More

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

Keep scrolling for more

Learn More about remiss

Time Traveler for remiss

Time Traveler

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

See more words from the same century

Statistics for remiss

Last Updated

19 Aug 2020

Cite this Entry

“Remiss.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 21 Sep. 2020.

Keep scrolling for more

More Definitions for remiss


How to pronounce remiss (audio)

English Language Learners Definition of remiss

formal : not showing enough care and attention


re·​miss | \ ri-ˈmis How to pronounce remiss (audio) \

Kids Definition of remiss

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

More from Merriam-Webster on remiss

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for remiss

Nglish: Translation of remiss for Spanish Speakers

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).


Test Your Vocabulary

Homophone Quiz

  • three bears two of them look like theyre whispering to a third bear who looks chuffed to be the center of attention
  • In order to judge how people felt, the senator's office hired a firm to take a ______.
Spell It

Can you spell these 10 commonly misspelled words?


Test Your Knowledge - and learn some interesting things along the way.

Love words? Need even more definitions?

Subscribe to America's largest dictionary and get thousands more definitions and advanced search—ad free!