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[neg-li-juh nt] /ˈnɛg lɪ dʒənt/
guilty of or characterized by neglect, as of duty:
negligent officials.
lazily careless; offhand:
a negligent wave of his manicured hand.
Origin of negligent
1350-1400; Middle English, variant of necligent < Latin negligent-, necligent-, stem of negligēns, present participle of negligere, variant of neglegere to neglect; see -ent
Related forms
negligently, adverb
nonnegligent, adjective
nonnegligently, adverb
overnegligent, adjective
overnegligently, adverb
prenegligent, adjective
quasi-negligent, adjective
supernegligent, adjective
supernegligently, adverb
unnegligent, adjective
1. neglectful. Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2015.
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Examples from the web for negligent
  • Anyone who stated that stuff couldn't happen here would be considered negligent and out the door in a nano second.
  • The environmental effects, good or bad, are side effects resulting from a negligent decision with the intention of personal gain.
  • To vary from what is acceptable practice can be an irresponsible and negligent act for a university officer.
  • To do less is professionally irresponsible and would appear to be negligent.
  • To do less is professionally, and possibly legally, negligent.
  • His parents say that the naval medical staff was negligent.
  • The government agencies charged with policing the fishermen have been shamefully negligent.
  • Because no plaintiff can claim ignorance of tobacco's hazards, its manufacturers cannot be held negligent for selling it.
  • To point all that out is mostly to oppose the charge that they are lazy and negligent.
  • Incarcerate him, and the rest of his criminally negligent lackeys.
British Dictionary definitions for negligent


habitually neglecting duties, responsibilities, etc; lacking attention, care, or concern; neglectful
careless or nonchalant
Derived Forms
negligently, 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 negligent

late 14c., from Old French negligent "careless, negligent" (13c.) or directly from Latin negligentem "heedless, careless, unconcerned" (see negligence). Related: Negligently.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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