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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 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.

  • The boys were reminded of their remissness by the sound of voices on the outside.

    The Campers Out Edward S. Ellis
  • He could only hope that such advantage had not been taken of his remissness.


    Edward Sylvester Ellis
  • With an apology for my remissness, I went into my own room to get the papers from my bag.

    Dracula Bram Stoker
  • I could not bear to think that a minute should be lost by remissness or hesitation.

    Wieland; or The Transformation Charles Brockden Brown
  • Succeed or fail, I will have no remissness to reproach myself with.

    Hard Cash Charles Reade
British Dictionary definitions for remissness


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 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.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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