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[im-prood-nt] /ɪmˈprud nt/
not prudent; lacking discretion; incautious; rash.
Origin of imprudent
1350-1400; Middle English < Latin imprūdent- (stem of imprūdēns) unforeseeing, rash. See im-2, prudent
Related forms
imprudence, imprudentness, imprudency, noun
imprudently, adverb
Can be confused
imprudent, impudent.
unwise, indiscreet, ill-advised. Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2015.
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Examples from the Web for imprudence
Historical Examples
  • You ought not to have the imprudence to walk about in Paris.

    The Mesmerist's Victim Alexandre Dumas
  • If, by any imprudence of my own, I have brought blame upon myself, I must bear it.

    Deerbrook Harriet Martineau
  • Cecil would not have been so strong against the risk and imprudence, if her wishes had been the other way.

    The Three Brides Charlotte M. Yonge
  • Our haste and imprudence would go to countenance the scandal she spreads.

    Deerbrook Harriet Martineau
  • Most of these would have their sorrow increased by the remembrance of their own imprudence.

    Paul and Virginia Bernardin de Saint Pierre
  • To clearer heads, however, the imprudence of such a course was manifest.

  • And I related my own imprudence in allowing the Spaniard to communicate with his bowmen.

  • It is my business to protect you, when your own imprudence exposes you to danger.

    Columba Prosper Merimee
  • In the same spirit, when the blushing Arabella came to tell of her marriage, “can you forgive my imprudence?”

    Pickwickian Studies Percy Fitzgerald
  • "If your name is Jones, my name is Smith," I replied, with gross imprudence.

    Seek and Find Oliver Optic
British Dictionary definitions for imprudence


not prudent; rash, heedless, or indiscreet
Derived Forms
imprudence, noun
imprudently, 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 imprudence

early 15c., "quality of rashness or heedlessness; imprudent act," from Latin imprudentia "lack of foresight, inconsiderateness, ignorance, inadvertence," noun of quality from imprudens (see imprudent).



late 14c., from Latin imprudentem (nominative imprudens) "not foreseeing, unaware, inconsiderate, heedless," from assimilated form of in- "not, opposite of" (see in- (1)) + prudens, contraction of providens, present participle of providere "to provide," literally "to see before (one)" (see provide). Related: Imprudently.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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