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[im-prov-i-duh nt] /ɪmˈprɒv ɪ dənt/
not provident; lacking foresight; incautious; unwary.
neglecting to provide for future needs.
Origin of improvident
1505-15; im-2 + provident
Related forms
improvidence, noun
improvidently, adverb
1. thoughtless, careless, imprudent, heedless. 2. shiftless, thriftless, unthrifty, wasteful, prodigal.
1. prudent. 2. economical. Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2015.
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Examples from the Web for improvident
Contemporary Examples
Historical Examples
  • It is said by some that the native is shiftless and improvident.

    The Philippine Islands Ramon Reyes Lala
  • Was ever such an improvident, self-willed creature as this boy, Cupid?

    Eventide Effie Afton
  • We will slyly pay the bills for improvident ones who have grown gray in the effort to make a decent funeral for dead horses.

  • He was industrious but improvident; he made money and he lost it.

  • Stop the heather-burning at once, and—they are improvident little animals—send them a shipload or two of corn now and then.

    Puck of Pook's Hill Rudyard Kipling
  • Did he not incarnate the great Jewish gospel of the improvident lilies?

    Ghetto Comedies Israel Zangwill
  • In the same absurd and improvident spirit is the customary disinclination to ask for settlements on our daughters.

  • They were too improvident to abstain from killing the breeding animals or their young.

    The Great Company Beckles Willson
British Dictionary definitions for improvident


not provident; thriftless, imprudent, or prodigal
heedless or incautious; rash
Derived Forms
improvidence, noun
improvidently, adverb
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 improvident

1510s, from im- "not" + provident. It retains a stronger connection with the "provide" aspect of Latin providere. Related: Improvidently.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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