Definition of feckless in English:

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Pronunciation: /ˈfɛkləs/


Lacking initiative or strength of character; irresponsible: her feckless younger brother
More example sentences
  • So the older brother became a rather feckless Oxford undergraduate just about to begin his own career.
  • All it did was make life easier for the lazy and feckless middle-class students, who were one of the products of the 1960s.
  • Giving complete novices the responsibility for reviving a feckless football team would, in itself, be irresponsible.
useless, worthless, incompetent, inefficient, inept, good-for-nothing, ne'er-do-well;
lazy, idle, slothful, indolent, shiftless, spiritless, apathetic, aimless, unambitious, unenterprising
informal no-good, no-account, lousy



Example sentences
  • Therefore, we need men and women in both parties who understand its gravity and who, whatever they think of the tactics or the domestic agendas of their rivals, will not fecklessly cut and run if they reach the White House.
  • Jenkins then goes on to discredit younger consumers as fecklessly fickle.
  • The major common factor with people who make resolutions is that the vast majority break them within hours or days of making them, yet will fecklessly resolve again in similar fashion the same time next year.


Pronunciation: /ˈfɛkləsnəs/
Example sentences
  • To the extent that I thought about it at all - and no-one should underestimate the capacity for fecklessness of the 18-year old - I'd more or less accepted that if I got drafted, I'd go along.
  • He said: ‘The accusations from the finance world are often that a bad debt is a result of fecklessness on the part of the borrower.’
  • Then they call their opponents nasty names, cut dirty deals, and violate constitutional rules all to escape the mess they themselves created by their own weird combination of vanity and fecklessness.


Late 16th century: from Scots and northern English dialect feck (from effeck, variant of effect) + -less.

  • effect from Late Middle English:

    Effect ‘result, consequence’ from Latin effectus, from efficere ‘accomplish, work out’, formed from ex- ‘out, thoroughly’ and facere ‘do’. Its negative is defect (Late Middle English), while deficit (late 18th century) is from Latin deficit ‘it is lacking’, from the verb deficere. The Latin word was used formerly in inventories to record what was missing. Feckless (late 16th century) ‘lacking in efficiency or vitality’ is based on Scots and northern English dialect feck, a shortening of effeck, a variant of effect.

For editors and proofreaders

Line breaks: feck|less

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