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.

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

Synonyms for reckless

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

Examples from the Web for recklessly

Contemporary Examples of recklessly

Historical Examples of recklessly

  • The people are much too nice to slangander as recklessly as I have been doing.

    American Notes

    Rudyard Kipling

  • "Oh, nothing hurts you if you like it," said Betty recklessly.

  • The hole had been recklessly filled to the brim, and was merely sprinkled with earth.

    Barnaby Rudge

    Charles Dickens

  • And the love was all for this man, so recklessly desirous of her happiness.

    The Law-Breakers

    Ridgwell Cullum

  • He was satiated with cake and tea and compliments that evening and recklessly truthful.

    The Portygee

    Joseph Crosby Lincoln

British Dictionary definitions for recklessly



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 recklessly

Old English recceleaslice; see reckless + -ly (2).



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