verb (used with object)

  1. to pay no attention or too little attention to; disregard or slight: The public neglected his genius for many years.
  2. to be remiss in the care or treatment of: to neglect one’s family; to neglect one’s appearance.
  3. to omit, through indifference or carelessness: to neglect to reply to an invitation.
  4. to fail to carry out or perform (orders, duties, etc.): to neglect the household chores.
  5. to fail to take or use: to neglect no precaution.


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

verb (tr)

  1. to fail to give due care, attention, or time toto neglect a child
  2. to fail (to do something) through thoughtlessness or carelessnesshe neglected to tell her
  3. to ignore or disregardshe neglected his frantic signals


  1. lack of due care or attention; negligencethe child starved through neglect
  2. the act or an instance of neglecting or the state of being neglected

adj.“not treated with proper attention,” c.1600, past participle adjective from neglect (v.). v.1520s, from Latin neglectus, past participle of neglegere “to make light of, disregard, be indifferent to, not heed, not trouble oneself about,” literally “not to pick up,” variant of neclegere, from Old Latin nec “not” (see deny) + legere “pick up, select” (see lecture (n.)). Related: Neglected; neglecting. n.1580s, from neglect (v.) or from Latin neglectus “a neglecting,” noun use of past participle of neglegere.

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