negligent, careless, or slow in performing one's duty, business, etc.: He's terribly remiss in his work.
characterized by negligence or carelessness.
lacking force or energy; languid; sluggish.

Origin of remiss

1375–1425; late Middle English < Latin remissus (past participle of remittere to send back, slacken, relax); see remit
Related formsre·miss·ly, adverbre·miss·ness, nouno·ver·re·miss, adjectiveo·ver·re·miss·ly, adverbo·ver·re·miss·ness, noun

Synonyms for remiss Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

Examples from the Web for remiss

Contemporary Examples of remiss

Historical Examples of remiss

  • If you will pardon the offense, I will promise not to be so remiss in the future.

    Jolly Sally Pendleton

    Laura Jean Libbey

  • Giusippe and I have been both rude and remiss, haven't we, Giusippe?

    The Story of Glass

    Sara Ware Bassett

  • I was thunderstruck, and tried to think if I had been remiss in anything.

    Behind the Scenes

    Elizabeth Keckley

  • Be so merciful, that you be not too remiss; so execute justice, that you forget not mercy.

  • He had been remiss to the self-confessed daughter of his enemy.

British Dictionary definitions for remiss


adjective (postpositive)

lacking in care or attention to duty; negligent
lacking in energy; dilatory
Derived Formsremissly, adverbremissness, noun

Word Origin for remiss

C15: from Latin remissus from remittere to release, from re- + mittere to send
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 remiss

early 15c., "weak, dissolved," from Latin remissus "relaxed, languid; negligent," past participle of remittere "slacken, abate, let go" (see remit). Meaning "characterized by lack of strictness" is attested from mid-15c.; that of "characterized by negligence" is from mid-15c.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper