[ rek-lis ]
/ ˈrɛk lɪs /


utterly unconcerned about the consequences of some action; without caution; careless (usually followed by of): to be reckless of danger.
characterized by or proceeding from such carelessness: reckless extravagance.

Nearby words

  1. recitation,
  2. recitative,
  3. recitativo,
  4. recite,
  5. reck,
  6. recklessly,
  7. recklessness,
  8. recklinghausen,
  9. recklinghausen's disease,
  10. recklinghausen's disease of bone

Origin of reckless

before 900; Middle English rekles, Old English reccelēas careless (cognate with German ruchlos); see reck, -less

Related formsreck·less·ly, adverbreck·less·ness, noun

Can be confusedfeckless reckless Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

Examples from the Web for reckless

British Dictionary definitions for reckless


/ (ˈrɛklɪs) /


having or showing no regard for danger or consequences; heedless; rasha reckless driver; a reckless attempt
Derived Formsrecklessly, adverbrecklessness, noun

Word Origin for reckless

Old English recceleās (see reck, -less); related to Middle Dutch roekeloos, Old High German ruahhalōs

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 reckless



Old English receleas "careless, thoughtless, heedless," earlier reccileas, from *rece, recce "care, heed," from reccan "to care" (see reck (v.)) + -less. The same affixed form is in German ruchlos, Dutch roekeloos "wicked." Root verb reck (Old English reccan) is passing into obscurity.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper