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See more synonyms for remiss on Thesaurus.com
  1. negligent, careless, or slow in performing one's duty, business, etc.: He's terribly remiss in his work.
  2. characterized by negligence or carelessness.
  3. lacking force or energy; languid; sluggish.
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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


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Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

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Examples from the Web for remissness

Historical Examples

  • She returned only the more oppressed by the sense of remissness—of remorse.

    Elsie Marley, Honey

    Joslyn Gray

  • Every day it is so, and there is no remissness in the observance of the custom.

  • His excuse for remissness in correspondence was, "I am a young man and in Paris."

    Washington Irving

    Charles Dudley Warner

  • He rejoiced in death, when, from no remissness of his, it closed his labours.

    Sir Walter Ralegh

    William Stebbing

  • There can be no relaxation of effort, no remissness, in such a quest.

British Dictionary definitions for remissness


adjective (postpositive)
  1. lacking in care or attention to duty; negligent
  2. lacking in energy; dilatory
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Derived Formsremissly, adverbremissness, noun

Word Origin

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 remissness



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.

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Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper