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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

Synonyms for improvident

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Antonyms for improvident Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

Examples from the Web for improvident

Contemporary Examples of improvident

  • Government nurtured these behemoths by weaving an improvident safety net, and by practicing crony capitalism.

    The Daily Beast logo
    Break Up the Banks?

    Megan McArdle

    February 11, 2013

  • The old elite worried that the masses were too improvident and seditious.

    The Daily Beast logo
    The New Heat Center

    Michael Lind

    January 19, 2009

Historical Examples of improvident

  • 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
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.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper