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[neg-li-juh ns] /ˈnɛg lɪ dʒəns/
the quality, fact, or result of being negligent; neglect:
negligence in discharging one's responsibilities.
an instance of being negligent:
a downfall brought about by many negligences.
Law. the failure to exercise that degree of care that, in the circumstances, the law requires for the protection of other persons or those interests of other persons that may be injuriously affected by the want of such care.
Law. pertaining to or involving a civil action for compensation for damages filed by a person who claims to have suffered an injury or loss in an accident caused by another's negligence:
a negligence suit; a large negligence award.
Origin of negligence
1300-50; Middle English, variant of necligence < Latin necligentia. See negligent, -ence
Related forms
nonnegligence, noun
overnegligence, noun
prenegligence, noun
supernegligence, noun
1. See neglect. Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2015.
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Examples from the web for negligence
  • If the car was inspected, which seems unlikely, someone is guilty of gross negligence.
  • I've seen the same negligence among supervisors toward their staff members.
  • Their lawsuits allege gross negligence and seek $10 million.
  • The financial consequence of this negligence is costly for already strained state budgets.
  • We must take care of those that are affected by our negligence.
  • The lawsuit claims violation of privacy and negligence.
  • The problem here is negligence, not active malfeasance.
  • Some of his former colleagues face questions about corruption, negligence and abuse of power.
  • His lawsuit alleges negligence and nuisance.
  • Failure to report can open the university up to litigation for negligence.
British Dictionary definitions for negligence


the state or quality of being negligent
a negligent act
(law) a civil wrong whereby a person or party is in breach of a legal duty of care to another which results in loss or injury to the claimant
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition
© William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012
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Word Origin and History for negligence

mid-14c., from Old French negligence "negligence, sloth; injury, injustice" (12c.), and directly from Latin neclegentia, neglegentia "carelessness, heedlessness, neglect," from neglegentem (nominative neglegens) "heedless, careless, unconcerned," present participle of neglegere "to neglect" (see neglect (v.)).

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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