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  1. negligent, careless, or slow in performing one's duty, business, etc.: He's terribly remiss in his work.
  2. characterized by negligence or carelessness.
  3. lacking force or energy; languid; sluggish.
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Origin of remiss

1375–1425; late Middle English < Latin remissus (past participle of remittere to send back, slacken, relax); see remit
Related formsre·miss·ly, adverbre·miss·ness, nouno·ver·re·miss, adjectiveo·ver·re·miss·ly, adverbo·ver·re·miss·ness, noun


See more synonyms on Thesaurus.com
1, 2. derelict, thoughtless, lax, slack, neglectful. 3. dilatory, slothful, slow.
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

Examples from the Web for remissness

Historical Examples

  • She returned only the more oppressed by the sense of remissness—of remorse.

    Elsie Marley, Honey

    Joslyn Gray

  • Every day it is so, and there is no remissness in the observance of the custom.

  • His excuse for remissness in correspondence was, "I am a young man and in Paris."

    Washington Irving

    Charles Dudley Warner

  • He rejoiced in death, when, from no remissness of his, it closed his labours.

    Sir Walter Ralegh

    William Stebbing

  • There can be no relaxation of effort, no remissness, in such a quest.

British Dictionary definitions for remissness


adjective (postpositive)
  1. lacking in care or attention to duty; negligent
  2. lacking in energy; dilatory
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Derived Formsremissly, adverbremissness, 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

Word Origin and History for remissness



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.

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Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper