[ ni-glekt ]
/ nɪˈglɛkt /

verb (used with object)


an act or instance of neglecting; disregard; negligence: The neglect of the property was shameful.
the fact or state of being neglected: a beauty marred by neglect.

Origin of neglect

1520–30; < Latin neglēctus, variant of neclēctus (past participle of neglegere, neclegere to disregard, ignore, slight), equivalent to nec not + leg-, base of legere to pick up + -tus past participle suffix


1 ignore. See slight.
6, 7 default, inattention, heedlessness. Neglect, dereliction, negligence, remissness imply carelessness, failure, or some important omission in the performance of one's duty, a task, etc. Neglect and negligence are occasionally interchangeable, but neglect commonly refers to an instance, negligence to the habit or trait, of failing to attend to or perform what is expected or required: gross neglect of duty; negligence in handling traffic problems. Dereliction implies culpable or reprehensible neglect or failure in the performance of duty: dereliction in a position of responsibility. Remissness implies the omission or the careless or indifferent performance of a duty: remissness in filing a report on the accident.


Example sentences from the Web for neglect

British Dictionary definitions for neglect

/ (nɪˈɡlɛkt) /

verb (tr)

to fail to give due care, attention, or time to to neglect a child
to fail (to do something) through thoughtlessness or carelessness he neglected to tell her
to ignore or disregard she neglected his frantic signals


lack of due care or attention; negligence the child starved through neglect
the act or an instance of neglecting or the state of being neglected

Derived forms of neglect

neglecter or neglector, noun

Word Origin for neglect

C16: from Latin neglegere to neglect, from nec not + legere to select