negligent

negligent, neglectful, lax, slack, remiss are comparable when applied to persons, their ways of working or acting, and the results of their work or activities with the meaning culpably careless or manifesting such carelessness.
Negligent implies such culpable inattentiveness as is likely to result in imperfection, incompleteness, slovenliness, or danger or damage to others
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his family knew him to be ... a most negligent and dilatory correspondent— A usten

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so negligent in his poetical style ... so slovenly, slipshod, and infelicitous— Arnold

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a careless workman, negligent of detail— Edith Hamilton

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Neglectful is usually more derogatory or censorious than negligent, for it carries a stronger connotation of laziness or deliberate and blameworthy inattention
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parents neglectful of their children's health

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a government at once insatiable and neglectfulMill

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show no trace of shame, and . . . are utterly neglectful of what we consider the first requirements of decency— Westermarck

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Lax (see also LOOSE) implies a usually blameworthy lack of necessary strictness, severity, or precision; the term applies chiefly to persons who do not satisfy the rigorous demands made upon them by their work or duties or to work or an activity performed or carried on without the close attention, constant care, or strict adherence to law or custom that is necessary
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a lax parent

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lax discipline

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lax morals

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a lax interpretation of a law

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scandalously lax in restraining drunkards from annoying the sober— Trevelyan

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we do not intend to leave things so lax that loopholes will be left for cheaters— Roosevelt

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Slack (see also LOOSE) stresses the want of proper or necessary diligence and expedition as well as of care; the term usually also implies indolence or sluggishness or indifference
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a slack workman

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we keep our wits slack— H. G. Wells

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When applied to what is accomplished by a slack worker, the term usually suggests neglect of important details necessary to the completeness, finish, or perfection of the work
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a three-quarters figure of admirable design, though of rather slack execution— Stobart

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a fine nose for what was slack in the play or insufficiently developed— Mailer

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Remiss implies culpable carelessness that shows itself in slackness and forgetfulness or in negligence; it is applied chiefly to something lax in performance or maintenance, but it may be applied to a person who is unduly careless or lax in the performance of his duties
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remiss housekeeping

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a remiss police officer

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it certainly had been very remiss of him, as Mayor ... to call no meeting ere this— Hardy

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so remiss did they become in their attentions that we could no longer rely upon their bringing us the daily supply of food— Melville

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Analogous words: *careless, heedless, thoughtless, inadvertent: *indifferent, unconcerned, incurious: *slipshod, slovenly
Contrasted words: *rigid, strict, rigorous: *thoughtful, considerate, attentive

New Dictionary of Synonyms. 2014.

Synonyms:

Look at other dictionaries:

  • négligent — négligent, ente [ negliʒɑ̃, ɑ̃t ] adj. • 1190; lat. negligens ♦ Qui fait preuve de négligence. ⇒ inattentif. Employé négligent qui mélange deux dossiers. Campeur négligent qui n éteint pas son feu. Jeter un coup d œil négligent. ♢ Subst. « ne me… …   Encyclopédie Universelle

  • negligent — neg·li·gent / ne gli jənt/ adj: marked by, given to, or produced by negligence a negligent act the defendant was negligent neg·li·gent·ly adv Merriam Webster’s Dictionary of Law. Merriam Webster. 1996 …   Law dictionary

  • negligent — neg‧li‧gent [ˈneglɪdʒnt] adjective LAW not taking enough care over something that you are responsible for: • The products were defective due to the manufacturer s negligent workmanship. negligent in • The airline was negligent in allowing a… …   Financial and business terms

  • negligent — Negligent, Negligens, Incuriosus, Indiligens, Oscitans, Somniculosus. Il est trop negligent de son profit, Ab re est remissior, Budaeus ex Terent. Negligent en ses affaires et endormi, Dormitator. Estre negligent et paresseux en quelque affaire,… …   Thresor de la langue françoyse

  • négligent — négligent, ente (né gli jan, jan t ) adj. 1°   Qui a de la négligence. Un intendant négligent. •   Tandis que les prophètes [en Judée] ont été pour maintenir la loi, le peuple a été négligent ; mais, depuis qu il n y a plus eu de prophètes, le… …   Dictionnaire de la Langue Française d'Émile Littré

  • negligent — Negligent, [neglig]ente. adj. Nonchalant, qui n a pas le soin qu il devroit avoir. Je ne vis jamais homme plus negligent. faut il estre si negligent? il est negligent en tout, negligent en ses affaires …   Dictionnaire de l'Académie française

  • Negligent — Neg li*gent, a. [F. n[ e]gligent, L. negligens,p. pr. of negligere. See {Neglect}.] Apt to neglect; customarily neglectful; characterized by negligence; careless; heedless; culpably careless; showing lack of attention; as, disposed in negligent… …   The Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • negligent — (adj.) late 14c., from O.Fr. negligent careless, negligent (13c.) or directly from L. negligentem heedless, careless, unconcerned (see NEGLIGENCE (Cf. negligence)). Related: Negligently …   Etymology dictionary

  • negligent — [neg′lə jənt] adj. [ME < OFr négligent < L negligens, prp. of negligere: see NEGLECT] 1. habitually failing to do the required thing; neglectful 2. careless, lax, inattentive, or indifferent SYN. REMISS negligently adv …   English World dictionary

  • negligent — [adj] careless, indifferent asleep at switch*, behindhand, cursory, delinquent, derelict, discinct, disregardful, forgetful, heedless, inadvertent, inattentive, inconsiderate, incurious, lax, neglectful, nonchalant, offhand, regardless, remiss,… …   New thesaurus

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