[ neg-li-juhns ]
See synonyms for negligence on
  1. the quality, fact, or result of being negligent; neglect: negligence in discharging one's responsibilities.

  2. an instance of being negligent: a downfall brought about by many negligences.

  1. Law. the failure to exercise that degree of care that, in the circumstances, the law requires for the protection of other persons or those interests of other persons that may be injuriously affected by the want of such care.

  1. Law. pertaining to or involving a civil action for compensation for damages filed by a person who claims to have suffered an injury or loss in an accident caused by another's negligence: a negligence suit;a large negligence award.

Origin of negligence

First recorded in 1300–50; Middle English, variant of necligence, from Latin necligentia; see negligent, -ence

synonym study For negligence

1. See neglect.

Other words from negligence

  • non·neg·li·gence, noun
  • o·ver·neg·li·gence, noun
  • pre·neg·li·gence, noun
  • su·per·neg·li·gence, noun

Words Nearby negligence Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2023

How to use negligence in a sentence

British Dictionary definitions for negligence


/ (ˈnɛɡlɪdʒəns) /

  1. the state or quality of being negligent

  2. a negligent act

  1. law a civil wrong whereby a person or party is in breach of a legal duty of care to another which results in loss or injury to the claimant

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