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[rek-lis] /ˈrɛk lɪs/
utterly unconcerned about the consequences of some action; without caution; careless (usually followed by of):
to be reckless of danger.
characterized by or proceeding from such carelessness:
reckless extravagance.
Origin of reckless
before 900; Middle English rekles, Old English reccelēas careless (cognate with German ruchlos); see reck, -less
Related forms
recklessly, adverb
recklessness, noun
Can be confused
feckless, reckless.
1. rash, heedless, incautious, negligent, imprudent.
1. careful. Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2015.
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Examples from the Web for reckless
Contemporary Examples
Historical Examples
  • Their parents, thinking of the fight with the moose, and knowing the reckless spirit of the boys, had at first objected.

    Frank on the Prairie Harry Castlemon
  • You have been of the reckless deportment—you may still be of it.

    The Spenders Harry Leon Wilson
  • The crowd gathered on the high gallery at the end of the pier added to this effect of reckless holiday enjoyment.

    Their Pilgrimage Charles Dudley Warner
  • He gave the wheel a reckless twist, and Le Moyne called him to time sternly.

    K Mary Roberts Rinehart
  • Fairly in the midst of them, quite as gaudy to look upon and every whit as reckless in their horsemanship, rode Dade and Jack.

    The Gringos B. M. Bower
British Dictionary definitions for reckless


having or showing no regard for danger or consequences; heedless; rash: a reckless driver, a reckless attempt
Derived Forms
recklessly, adverb
recklessness, noun
Word Origin
Old English recceleās (see reck, -less); related to Middle Dutch roekeloos, Old High German ruahhalōs
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 reckless

Old English receleas "careless, thoughtless, heedless," earlier reccileas, from *rece, recce "care, heed," from reccan "to care" (see reck (v.)) + -less. The same affixed form is in German ruchlos, Dutch roekeloos "wicked." Root verb reck (Old English reccan) is passing into obscurity.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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