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[ri-mis] /rɪˈmɪs/
negligent, careless, or slow in performing one's duty, business, etc.:
He's terribly remiss in his work.
characterized by negligence or carelessness.
lacking force or energy; languid; sluggish.
Origin of remiss
late Middle English
1375-1425; late Middle English < Latin remissus (past participle of remittere to send back, slacken, relax); see remit
Related forms
remissly, adverb
remissness, noun
overremiss, adjective
overremissly, adverb
overremissness, noun
1, 2. derelict, thoughtless, lax, slack, neglectful. 3. dilatory, slothful, slow. Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018.
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Examples from the Web for remiss
Contemporary Examples
Historical Examples
  • If you will pardon the offense, I will promise not to be so remiss in the future.

    Jolly Sally Pendleton

    Laura Jean Libbey
  • Giusippe and I have been both rude and remiss, haven't we, Giusippe?

    The Story of Glass Sara Ware Bassett
  • I was thunderstruck, and tried to think if I had been remiss in anything.

    Behind the Scenes Elizabeth Keckley
  • Be so merciful, that you be not too remiss; so execute justice, that you forget not mercy.

    Coronation Anecdotes Giles Gossip
  • He had been remiss to the self-confessed daughter of his enemy.

    The Story of a Mine Bret Harte
British Dictionary definitions for remiss


adjective (postpositive)
lacking in care or attention to duty; negligent
lacking in energy; dilatory
Derived Forms
remissly, adverb
remissness, noun
Word Origin
C15: from Latin remissus from remittere to release, from re- + mittere to send
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 remiss

early 15c., "weak, dissolved," from Latin remissus "relaxed, languid; negligent," past participle of remittere "slacken, abate, let go" (see remit). Meaning "characterized by lack of strictness" is attested from mid-15c.; that of "characterized by negligence" is from mid-15c.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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