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[in-uh-ten-tiv] /ˌɪn əˈtɛn tɪv/
not attentive; negligent.
1735-45; in-3 + attentive
Related forms
inattentively, adverb
inattentiveness, noun
heedless, oblivious, unmindful, preoccupied. Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2014.
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Examples from the web for inattentive
  • What happened was a tragic accident probably caused by an inattentive employee.
  • They would eat the ignorant inattentive trolls among us.
  • If the system is satisfied that it's got an inattentive driver, it will sound warning chimes.
  • Security issues, road hazards, inattentive people all make it a risky endeavor.
  • Boys tend to be disruptive, inattentive and hyperactive-this is what boys do.
  • Search committees are accretions of sometimes unwilling or inattentive people who can be amateurs when it comes to hiring.
  • Profit and nonprofit boards alike throughout the country seem routinely inattentive.
  • Without an engine-braking effect, you sail up alarmingly fast on the car ahead or the inattentive pedestrian.
  • They will be grouchy and inattentive during the day.
  • Children with impaired hearing may appear to be distracted, inattentive, and unintelligent.
British Dictionary definitions for inattentive


not paying attention; heedless; negligent
Derived Forms
inattention, inattentiveness, noun
inattentively, 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 inattentive

1741, from in- (1) "not, opposite of" + attentive. Related: Inattentively; inattentiveness.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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Nearby words for inattentive