1. Given to or characterized by neglect, especially habitual neglect: The negligent worker missed another deadline.
2. Law Acting with or done through negligence.
[Middle English, from Old French, from Latin neglegēns, neglegent-, present participle of neglegere, to neglect; see NEGLECT.]
Synonyms: negligent, derelict, lax, neglectful, remiss, slack1
These adjectives mean guilty of a lack of due care or concern: The negligent landlord failed to repair the window. By not voting, he was derelict in his civic duty. If you're lax in attending class, your grades will suffer. Many neighbors felt that he had been neglectful of his property. It was remiss of her not to call to tell us she was coming. The teacher was slack in maintaining discipline.
The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fifth Edition copyright ©2022 by HarperCollins Publishers. All rights reserved.
Indo-European & Semitic Roots Appendices
Thousands of entries in the dictionary include etymologies that trace their origins back to reconstructed proto-languages. You can obtain more information about these forms in our online appendices:
The Indo-European appendix covers nearly half of the Indo-European roots that have left their mark on English words. A more complete treatment of Indo-European roots and the English words derived from them is available in our Dictionary of Indo-European Roots.