characterized by neglect; disregardful; careless; negligent (often followed by of): neglectful of one's health.

Origin of neglectful

First recorded in 1615–25; neglect + -ful
Related formsne·glect·ful·ly, adverbne·glect·ful·ness, nouno·ver·ne·glect·ful, adjectiveo·ver·ne·glect·ful·ly, adverbo·ver·ne·glect·ful·ness, nounpre·ne·glect·ful, adjectiveself-ne·glect·ful, adjectiveun·ne·glect·ful, adjectiveun·ne·glect·ful·ly, adverb
Can be confusedneglectful negligible

Synonyms for neglectful

Antonyms for neglectful Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

Examples from the Web for neglectful

Contemporary Examples of neglectful

  • Off stage, he was an unfaithful husband, a neglectful father, and a friend only so long as you did what he wanted.

    The Daily Beast logo
    Wheeere’s Johnny?

    Malcolm Jones

    October 13, 2013

  • In the book, Matilda overcame her neglectful parents by teaching herself how to read Dickens and perform complicated math.

  • Too many of his writings have as their theme the great wrong done to him personally by a neglectful country.

    The Daily Beast logo
    Gore Vidal, 1925-2012

    David Frum

    August 1, 2012

Historical Examples of neglectful

  • Really, Dan, it is extraordinary how neglectful of me that child can sometimes be.

  • Was there any human father who could be so callous, so neglectful, so cruel, as that?

  • I felt impatient and decided to give her a scolding for being so neglectful.

  • Mr. Soames, a man of experience, scented an intrigue and a neglectful husband.

    The Yellow Claw

    Sax Rohmer

  • Not only the siege orphans, but so many who have sick or neglectful mothers.

    The Dop Doctor

    Clotilde Inez Mary Graves

British Dictionary definitions for neglectful



(when postpositive, foll by of) not giving due care and attention (to); careless; heedless
Derived Formsneglectfully, adverbneglectfulness, 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 neglectful

1640s, from neglect + -ful. Related: Neglectfully; neglectfulness. Earlier in same sense was neglective (1610s).

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper