[in-uh d-vur-tns]


the quality or condition of being inadvertent; heedlessness.
the act or effect of inattention; an oversight.

Origin of inadvertence

From the Medieval Latin word inadvertentia, dating back to 1560–70. See inadvertency, -ence Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

Related Words for inadvertence

indifference, omission, oversight

Examples from the Web for inadvertence

Historical Examples of inadvertence

  • Say it was a mistake on your part,—an inadvertence,—and done without my knowledge.

    Roland Cashel

    Charles James Lever

  • This word escaped Schomberg by inadvertence at which he became frightened.


    Joseph Conrad

  • I had, in a moment of inadvertence, created for myself a tie.


    Joseph Conrad

  • Here, again, we have to regret and remark the inadvertence of youth.

  • The least inadvertence may rob us of the public favor so hard to be acquired.

    The Loyalist

    James Francis Barrett

British Dictionary definitions for inadvertence




lack of attention; heedlessness
an instance or an effect of being inadvertent; oversight; slip
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 inadvertence

mid-15c., from Middle French inadvertance (14c.), from Scholastic Latin inadvertentia, from in- "not" (see in- (1)) + advertentia, from Latin advertere "to direct one's attention to," literally "to turn toward" (see advertise).

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper