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 recklessness

Contemporary Examples of recklessness

Historical Examples of recklessness

  • But even that gibe hinted at a recklessness that matched her own and gave her comfort now.

    Louisiana Lou

    William West Winter

  • Surely you, of all people, should not excuse their recklessness.

    Fair Harbor

    Joseph Crosby Lincoln

  • Your being afloat in Denboro Bay in a canoe was your own recklessness and not my fault.

    The Rise of Roscoe Paine

    Joseph C. Lincoln

  • That recklessness it was that caused me to shrug my shoulders with a laugh.

    The Suitors of Yvonne

    Raphael Sabatini

  • I made no answer: half in recklessness, half in pride, I was silent.

    Sir Jasper Carew

    Charles James Lever

British Dictionary definitions for recklessness



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 recklessness

Old English recceleasnes "recklessness, carelessness, negligence;" see reckless + -ness.



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