unintentional: an inadvertent insult.
not attentive; heedless.
of, relating to, or characterized by lack of attention.

Origin of inadvertent

1645–55; abstracted from inadvertence, inadvertency; see -ent
Related formsin·ad·vert·ent·ly, adverb

Synonyms for inadvertent Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

Examples from the Web for inadvertently

Contemporary Examples of inadvertently

Historical Examples of inadvertently

  • And you, if I may say so, took away my umbrella, inadvertently of course.

    Howards End

    E. M. Forster

  • I was so furious that I inadvertently looked into the cabin viewplate.


    James Causey

  • So Arnold hastened to try and pacify the anger that he had inadvertently roused.

    The Fiery Totem

    Argyll Saxby

  • But inadvertently his eye caught the name “Blake” on one of the envelopes.

    Out of the Depths

    Robert Ames Bennet

  • If they do this inadvertently, they apologise to the person or thing.

British Dictionary definitions for inadvertently



failing to act carefully or considerately; inattentive
resulting from heedless action; unintentional
Derived Formsinadvertently, 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 inadvertently

1670s, literally "inattentively," hence "unintentionally;" see inadvertent + -ly (2).



1650s, back-formation from inadvertence.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper