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[neg-li-juh ns] /ˈnɛg lɪ dʒəns/
the quality, fact, or result of being negligent; neglect:
negligence in discharging one's responsibilities.
an instance of being negligent:
a downfall brought about by many negligences.
Law. the failure to exercise that degree of care that, in the circumstances, the law requires for the protection of other persons or those interests of other persons that may be injuriously affected by the want of such care.
Law. pertaining to or involving a civil action for compensation for damages filed by a person who claims to have suffered an injury or loss in an accident caused by another's negligence:
a negligence suit; a large negligence award.
Origin of negligence
1300-50; Middle English, variant of necligence < Latin necligentia. See negligent, -ence
Related forms
nonnegligence, noun
overnegligence, noun
prenegligence, noun
supernegligence, noun Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018.
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Examples from the Web for negligence
Contemporary Examples
Historical Examples
  • The Athenian generals did not fail to take advantage of this negligence.

  • His negligence on the other hand has been too conspicuous in the affair of Cn.

    The Siege of Boston Allen French
  • The charm of that style consists in the negligence with which the paint is applied.

    The Memoires of Casanova, Complete Jacques Casanova de Seingalt
  • He instantly summoned the servants, and took them to task for their negligence.

    The Masked Bridal Mrs. Georgie Sheldon
  • But the Vice Consul, by his negligence, prolonged our misfortunes.

    Perils and Captivity Charlotte-Adlade [ne Picard] Dard
British Dictionary definitions for negligence


the state or quality of being negligent
a negligent act
(law) a civil wrong whereby a person or party is in breach of a legal duty of care to another which results in loss or injury to the claimant
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 negligence

mid-14c., from Old French negligence "negligence, sloth; injury, injustice" (12c.), and directly from Latin neclegentia, neglegentia "carelessness, heedlessness, neglect," from neglegentem (nominative neglegens) "heedless, careless, unconcerned," present participle of neglegere "to neglect" (see neglect (v.)).

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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