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See more synonyms for improvident on Thesaurus.com
  1. not provident; lacking foresight; incautious; unwary.
  2. neglecting to provide for future needs.
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Origin of improvident

First recorded in 1505–15; im-2 + provident
Related formsim·prov·i·dence, nounim·prov·i·dent·ly, adverb


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Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

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Examples from the Web for improvident

Contemporary Examples

Historical Examples

  • Therefore every improvident step will meet with terrible revenge.

  • But these lawless adventurers were as improvident as they were vicious and idle.

    King Philip

    John S. C. (John Stevens Cabot) Abbott

  • They are unstable, improvident, easily discouraged, easily led astray.

  • Was ever such an improvident, self-willed creature as this boy, Cupid?


    Effie Afton

  • His father is said to have had little ability, and to have been careless and improvident.

    American Men of Mind

    Burton E. Stevenson

British Dictionary definitions for improvident


  1. not provident; thriftless, imprudent, or prodigal
  2. heedless or incautious; rash
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Derived Formsimprovidence, nounimprovidently, adverb
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 improvident


1510s, from im- "not" + provident. It retains a stronger connection with the "provide" aspect of Latin providere. Related: Improvidently.

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Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper