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 carelessly

Contemporary Examples of carelessly

Historical Examples of carelessly

  • "Sing the song you gave us the other night at our house," he said carelessly.

    Weighed and Wanting

    George MacDonald

  • Carelessly he stepped to the back of the stall, touching Westley as he passed.


    W. A. Fraser

  • "That has not yet been decided," replied Kingozi carelessly.

    The Leopard Woman

    Stewart Edward White

  • Already, he had carelessly dropped the thoughtfulness by which he had won her.


    Mr. and Mrs. Haldeman-Julius

  • "And before we know who she is to be," said Mrs. Beaumont, carelessly.

British Dictionary definitions for carelessly



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 carelessly



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