careless


careless
careless adj Careless, heedless, thoughtless, inadvertent mean showing lack of concern or attention.
Careless often implies the absence of such cares as responsibilities or worries; it then usually connotes casualness, spontaneity, and lightheartedness and carries little or no suggestion of culpability
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her careless refinement of manner was so different from the studied dignity and anxious courtesy of the actor-manager— Shaw

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he presented to the world the appearance of a careless and hospitable millionaire strolling into his own drawing room with the detachment of an invited guest— Wharton

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Often, however, the term implies a more or less culpable indifference which at its best is the product of independence or of concentration on other and more important things
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raise all kinds of hope, careless of the disillusionment that will certainly follow— Hicks

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and at its worst is the result of laziness or negligence and manifests itself in blameworthy lack of pains or thought
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a careless bookkeeper

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a careless piece of work

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careless errors

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Heedless also implies indifference, but it stresses inattentiveness or a failure to see, observe, take note of, or remark rather than laziness or negligence; the term often also connotes light- mindedness, frivolousness, or flightiness
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heaps of flies . . . fell dead. . . . Their decease made no impression on the other flies out promenading. . . . Curious to consider how heedless flies are\—Dickens

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discreetly heedless, thanks to her long association with nobleness in art, to the leaps and bounds of fashion— Henry James

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Thoughtless may emphasize lack of reflection or of forethought
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thoughtless of tomorrow and God— Guthrie

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More frequently it suggests lack of thoughtfulness or consideration for others
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now and then, however, he is horribly thoughtless, and seems to take a real delight in giving me pain— Wilde

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Inadvertent usually implies heedlessness; the term is rarely applied to persons or their minds but is used in qualifying their acts and especially such of their mistakes, errors, or blunders as ensue from heedlessness or inattention resulting from concentration on other things rather than from ignorance or intention
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an inadvertent wakening of a person who is asleep

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an inadvertent error in spelling or in pronunciation

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they are in a bad fix . . . and sometimes with an inadvertent child or two to support— Rand

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Analogous words: *negligent, neglectful, lax, slack, remiss: casual, desultory, haphazard, *random, hit-or-miss, happy-go-lucky
Antonyms: careful
Contrasted words: meticulous, scrupulous, punctilious, punctual (see CAREFUL): accurate, precise, exact, nice (see CORRECT)

New Dictionary of Synonyms. 2014.

Synonyms:

Look at other dictionaries:

  • careless — care·less adj: not showing due care: negligent careless driving compare reckless Merriam Webster’s Dictionary of Law. Merriam Webster. 1996 …   Law dictionary

  • Careless — may refer to:*careless, someone who does not take proper care *James Maurice Stockford Careless, a Canadian historian from the University of Toronto * Careless , a song by Paul Kelly The Messengers from their 1989 album So Much Water So Close to… …   Wikipedia

  • Careless — Care less, a. [AS. cearle[ a]s.] 1. Free from care or anxiety. hence, cheerful; light hearted. Spenser. [1913 Webster] Sleep she as sound as careless infancy. Shak. [1913 Webster] 2. Having no care; not taking ordinary or proper care; negligent;… …   The Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • careless — [ker′lis] adj. [ME careles < OE carleas: see CARE & LESS] 1. without worry; carefree; untroubled 2. not paying enough attention; not thinking before one acts or speaks; neglectful; heedless; inconsiderate 3. done or made without enough… …   English World dictionary

  • careless — [adj1] without sufficient attention absent minded, abstracted, casual, cursory, disregardful, forgetful, hasty, heedless, improvident, imprudent, inaccurate, inadvertent, incautious, inconsiderate, indifferent, indiscreet, indolent, injudicious,… …   New thesaurus

  • careless — ► ADJECTIVE 1) not giving sufficient attention or thought to avoiding harm or mistakes. 2) (careless of/about) not concerned or worried about. 3) showing no interest or effort; casual. DERIVATIVES carelessly adverb carelessness noun …   English terms dictionary

  • careless — O.E. carleas free from anxiety, unconcerned, from CARE (Cf. care) + LESS (Cf. less). Meaning inattentive, not taking due care is first recorded 1560s, in carelessly. Related: Carelessness (O.E. carleasnes) …   Etymology dictionary

  • careless — care|less [ˈkeələs US ˈker ] adj 1.) not paying enough attention to what you are doing, so that you make mistakes, damage things etc ≠ ↑careful ▪ It was careless of him to leave the door unlocked. ▪ a careless mistake ▪ careless driving careless… …   Dictionary of contemporary English

  • careless */ — UK [ˈkeə(r)ləs] / US [ˈkerləs] adjective 1) a) a careless person does not think about what they are doing, so they make mistakes, hurt people, or damage things Try not to be so careless next time! it was careless of someone: It was very careless… …   English dictionary

  • careless — care|less [ kerləs ] adjective * 1. ) a careless person does not think about what they are doing, so they make mistakes, hurt people, or damage things: Try not to be so careless next time! it was careless of someone: It was very careless of you… …   Usage of the words and phrases in modern English


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