View synonyms for neglectful


[ ni-glekt-fuhl ]


  1. characterized by neglect; disregardful; careless; negligent (often followed by of ):

    neglectful of one's health.

    Synonyms: thoughtless, heedless, inattentive, remiss

    Antonyms: thoughtful, careful


/ nɪˈɡlɛktfʊl /


  1. whenpostpositive, foll by of not giving due care and attention (to); careless; heedless

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Derived Forms

  • neˈglectfully, adverb
  • neˈglectfulness, noun

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Other Words From

  • ne·glectful·ly adverb
  • ne·glectful·ness noun
  • over·ne·glectful adjective
  • over·ne·glectful·ly adverb
  • over·ne·glectful·ness noun
  • prene·glectful adjective
  • self-ne·glectful adjective
  • unne·glectful adjective
  • unne·glectful·ly adverb

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Word History and Origins

Origin of neglectful1

First recorded in 1615–25; neglect + -ful

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Example Sentences

Yet the continued failure of San Diego’s elected city leaders to deliver on equity of opportunity as related to housing has been neglectful at best, shameful at worst.

For example, habitual bingers tend to feel a loss of control and neglectful of their day-to-day responsibilities while they’re watching, and anxious and unable to focus in between viewings.

His lawyer Matías Morla urged an investigation on Thursday, alleging the health workers caring for the soccer star were neglectful.

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

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

The mostly-absent/borderline neglectful parents are a famous film director and a former supermodel.

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

Neglectful of his personal safety, he plunged out into the traffic, dodging this way and that, and making after Monte Irvin's car.

Are you going to throw off the mask outright, and become a bad husband as well as a neglectful one?

He became more and more neglectful, failing time after time to heed the alarm.

But he fell into a sort of settled melancholy, which nothing could shake off, and even grew neglectful of the bottle.

Although he participated freely in the fun of the old road, he was not unmindful or neglectful of his business.


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More About Neglectful

What does neglectful mean?

Neglectful is used to describe people who have neglected someone or something, meaning they’ve failed to pay enough attention or have not done enough to provide proper care.

Neglectful is often followed by the word of and the person or thing being neglected, as in I’m afraid I’ve been neglectful of my duties. Neglectful can also be used to describe such a person’s actions, as in Their parenting is neglectful at best. 

Describing someone as neglectful of objects or things usually means that they haven’t maintained such things properly. To be neglectful of your car is to fail to make sure it gets the maintenance it needs to keep running properly. To be neglectful of your health is to fail to do anything to maintain it. To be neglectful of your duties is to disregard them, often due to being preoccupied with other things.

When it’s used in the context of people, neglectful implies a lack of attention and care. When you’re neglectful of a friend or romantic partner, it means you don’t spend enough time with them or you fail to consider or care about their emotional needs. When the word is used in relation to the care of children, it describes someone who has failed to properly care for them in a way that’s equivalent to mistreatment or abuse. The word negligent can be a synonym and is based on the same root.

The adjective neglectful can be used to describe a person who neglects or their actions. The word neglected can also be used as an adjective, as in neglected children. 

Example: After years of neglectful treatment, these pets are being adopted into loving homes.

Where does neglectful come from?

The first records of the word neglectful come from the 1600s. Its base word, neglect, comes from the Latin neclēctus, from the verb neglegere, meaning “to disregard, ignore, slight.”

Being neglectful of things typically involves letting them fall into a state of disrepair or decay. Being neglectful of people is often more serious, and can involve physical or emotional neglect or both. The opposite of being neglectful is being attentive and providing the proper care.

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What are some other forms related to neglectful

  • neglectfully (adverb)
  • neglectfulness (noun)
  • neglect (verb, noun)

What are some synonyms for neglectful?

What are some words that share a root or word element with neglectful

What are some words that often get used in discussing neglectful?

How is neglectful used in real life?

Neglectful can be used in a variety of situations. When it’s used in relation to children, it usually implies abuse.



Try using neglectful!

Which of the following actions could be described as neglectful

A. failing to give attention
B. failing to give proper care
C. failing to give emotional support
D. all of the above