9 Grammatical Pitfalls


[kair-lis] /ˈkɛər lɪs/
not paying enough attention to what one does:
a careless typist.
not exact, accurate, or thorough:
careless work.
done or said heedlessly or negligently; unconsidered:
a careless remark.
not caring or troubling; having no care or concern; unconcerned (usually followed by of, about, or in):
careless of the rights of others; careless about one's behavior; careless in speech.
possessed or caused without effort or art; unstudied:
careless beauty.
Archaic. free from anxiety.
Origin of careless
before 1000; Middle English; Old English carlēas. See care, -less
Related forms
carelessly, adverb
carelessness, noun
overcareless, adjective
overcarelessly, adverb
overcarelessness, noun
1. inattentive, incautious, unwary, indiscreet, reckless. 2. inaccurate, negligent. 3. unthoughtful, unmindful. 4. thoughtless, forgetful; inconsiderate.
1–4. careful. Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2015.
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Examples from the web for carelessness
  • Candidates have been eliminated because of such carelessness.
  • In an age of spell check and grammar check, errors reflect a carelessness that could be significant.
  • So consider the potential carelessness of other people, as well as your own, when considering what could go wrong.
  • It's usually carelessness that leads to all those babies anyway.
  • The devil is in the detail, which often shows carelessness or worse.
  • He has been accused of carelessness and wilfulness in rime, perhaps unfairly.
  • So you can readily see that this withdrawal of the censor does not in itself signify rank carelessness.
  • The pertinent mode of laxity cannot be equated, evidently, with simple carelessness or inattention to detail.
  • The third is lost property: objects that the owner has parted with through neglect or carelessness.
  • People who have mishandled these snakes have been left with gushing open wounds for their carelessness.
British Dictionary definitions for carelessness


done with or acting with insufficient attention; negligent
often foll by in, of, or about. unconcerned in attitude or action; heedless; indifferent (to): she's very careless about her clothes
(usually prenominal) carefree
(usually prenominal) unstudied; artless: an impression of careless elegance
Derived Forms
carelessly, adverb
carelessness, noun
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 carelessness

Old English carleasnes; see careless + -ness.



Old English carleas "free from anxiety; unconcerned," from care (n.) + -less; a compound probably from Proto-Germanic. Original senses extinct by mid-17c.; main modern meaning "not paying attention, inattentive, not taking due care" is first recorded 1560s (in carelessly).

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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