not paying enough attention to what one does: a careless typist.
not exact, accurate, or thorough: careless work.
done or said heedlessly or negligently; unconsidered: a careless remark.
not caring or troubling; having no care or concern; unconcerned (usually followed by of, about, or in): careless of the rights of others; careless about one's behavior; careless in speech.
possessed or caused without effort or art; unstudied: careless beauty.
Archaic. free from anxiety.

Origin of careless

before 1000; Middle English; Old English carlēas. See care, -less
Related formscare·less·ly, adverbcare·less·ness, nouno·ver·care·less, adjectiveo·ver·care·less·ly, adverbo·ver·care·less·ness, noun

Synonyms for careless

Antonyms for careless

1–4. careful. Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

Examples from the Web for careless

Contemporary Examples of careless

Historical Examples of careless

  • Yet the great lady is not careless of engagements, and the wait is never prolonged.

    The Spenders

    Harry Leon Wilson

  • With a careless nod to Halbert, she took Robert's arm, and left the schoolhouse.

    Brave and Bold

    Horatio Alger

  • But what troubled her most of all was that he should be so careless about the wrong he had done, whatever it was.

    Weighed and Wanting

    George MacDonald

  • His puppets no longer interest him; he is careless of characterization.

  • "Let me know about it before you do it," said Linda with a careless laugh.

    Her Father's Daughter

    Gene Stratton-Porter

British Dictionary definitions for careless



done with or acting with insufficient attention; negligent
(often foll by in, of, or about) unconcerned in attitude or action; heedless; indifferent (to)she's very careless about her clothes
(usually prenominal) carefree
(usually prenominal) unstudied; artlessan impression of careless elegance
Derived Formscarelessly, adverbcarelessness, noun
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 careless

Old English carleas "free from anxiety; unconcerned," from care (n.) + -less; a compound probably from Proto-Germanic. Original senses extinct by mid-17c.; main modern meaning "not paying attention, inattentive, not taking due care" is first recorded 1560s (in carelessly).

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper