Definition of careless in English:

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Pronunciation: /ˈkɛːləs/


1Not giving sufficient attention or thought to avoiding harm or errors: she had been careless and had left the window unlocked a careless error
More example sentences
  • Employers have every right to take reasonable steps to protect themselves from harm from malicious or careless workers.
  • Pray that whatever has caused them to be so careless doesn't harm them or someone else.
  • It is not fair on others to behave in a careless, foolhardy fashion.
inattentive, incautious, negligent, remiss;
forgetful, absent-minded;
heedless, irresponsible, impetuous, reckless
informal sloppy, couldn't care less, slap-happy
shoddy, slapdash, slipshod, scrappy, slovenly, unconsidered, amateurish, negligent, lax, slack, wild, disorganized;
hasty, hurried, perfunctory, cursory, thrown together, sketchy, hit-or-miss;
inaccurate, imprecise, inexact, incorrect, wrong, erroneous, error-ridden
informal sloppy, slap-happy, scatterbrained
British vulgar slang half-arsed
thoughtless, unthinking, insensitive, indiscreet, unguarded, ill-advised, ill-considered, ill-thought-out, unwise, misguided, incautious, inadvertent, rash, foolhardy;
hasty, spur-of-the-moment, hare-brained
negligent in, mindless of, heedless of, improvident about, unconcerned about, indifferent to, oblivious to;
reckless about, remiss in, slapdash about, slipshod about, frivolous about
informal sloppy in, messy in
1.1(Of an action or its result) showing or caused by a lack of attention: he admitted careless driving a careless error
More example sentences
  • In planning a quilt, my reaction to this ordered system has always been a reckless measuring which produces careless results.
  • Why 100,000 Americans die each year in our nation's hospitals as a result of careless medical mistakes.
  • And, yes, there were tragic accidents to mar it, resulting from careless handling of the fireworks.
1.2 (careless of/about) Not concerned or worried about: he was careless of his own safety
More example sentences
  • The three main parties focus on these ‘swing’ voters and the issues that concern them, careless of the views of the rest of us.
  • That made him careless about liberty and willing to use the authority of the state to create the sort of society he wanted to see.
  • No one suggests that the government should be casual or careless about the terrorists in our midst.
1.3Showing no interest or effort; casual: she gave a careless shrug
More example sentences
  • So we covered 1,500 kilometres and more - the actual spots seldom reveal themselves to a casual or careless traveller.
  • The careless, the casual, the thoughtless reader will come away from them no wiser than he was before.
  • ‘I never felt like I belonged in that world,’ he says with a careless shrug.
unstudied, artless, casual, effortless, unconcerned, nonchalant, insouciant, languid, leisurely, informal
informal couldn't-care-less


Old English carlēas 'free from care' (see care, -less).

For editors and proofreaders

Line breaks: care|less

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