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[ni-glekt] /nɪˈglɛkt/
verb (used with object)
to pay no attention or too little attention to; disregard or slight:
The public neglected his genius for many years.
to be remiss in the care or treatment of:
to neglect one's family; to neglect one's appearance.
to omit, through indifference or carelessness:
to neglect to reply to an invitation.
to fail to carry out or perform (orders, duties, etc.):
to neglect the household chores.
to fail to take or use:
to neglect no precaution.
an act or instance of neglecting; disregard; negligence:
The neglect of the property was shameful.
the fact or state of being neglected:
a beauty marred by neglect.
Origin of neglect
1520-30; < Latin neglēctus, variant of neclēctus (past participle of neglegere, neclegere to disregard, ignore, slight), equivalent to nec not + leg-, base of legere to pick up + -tus past participle suffix
Related forms
neglectedly, adverb
neglectedness, noun
neglecter, neglector, noun
overneglect, verb (used with object)
preneglect, verb (used with object)
quasi-neglected, adjective
self-neglect, adjective
self-neglecting, adjective
unneglected, adjective
1. ignore. See slight. 6, 7. default, inattention, heedlessness. Neglect, dereliction, negligence, remissness imply carelessness, failure, or some important omission in the performance of one's duty, a task, etc. Neglect and negligence are occasionally interchangeable, but neglect commonly refers to an instance, negligence to the habit or trait, of failing to attend to or perform what is expected or required: gross neglect of duty; negligence in handling traffic problems. Dereliction implies culpable or reprehensible neglect or failure in the performance of duty: dereliction in a position of responsibility. Remissness implies the omission or the careless or indifferent performance of a duty: remissness in filing a report on the accident.
6. attention, care. Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2015.
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Examples from the Web for neglected
Contemporary Examples
Historical Examples
  • The fact is we all of us neglected to learn anything about death.

    Hypolympia Edmund Gosse
  • Here was an opportunity not to be neglected, and it was eagerly seized upon.

    The Roof of France Matilda Betham-Edwards
  • “I suppose so,” replied Herbert, feeling that his education had been neglected.

    The Boy Broker Frank A. Munsey
  • The hamlet itself, like most villages of the Lozre, has a neglected appearance.

    The Roof of France Matilda Betham-Edwards
  • I may have neglected her, but only for the companionship of men.

    Nat Goodwin's Book Nat C. Goodwin
British Dictionary definitions for neglected


verb (transitive)
to fail to give due care, attention, or time to: to neglect a child
to fail (to do something) through thoughtlessness or carelessness: he neglected to tell her
to ignore or disregard: she neglected his frantic signals
lack of due care or attention; negligence: the child starved through neglect
the act or an instance of neglecting or the state of being neglected
Derived Forms
neglecter, neglector, noun
Word Origin
C16: from Latin neglegere to neglect, from nec not + legere to select
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 neglected

"not treated with proper attention," c.1600, past participle adjective from neglect (v.).



1520s, from Latin neglectus, past participle of neglegere "to make light of, disregard, be indifferent to, not heed, not trouble oneself about," literally "not to pick up," variant of neclegere, from Old Latin nec "not" (see deny) + legere "pick up, select" (see lecture (n.)). Related: Neglected; neglecting.


1580s, from neglect (v.) or from Latin neglectus "a neglecting," noun use of past participle of neglegere.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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