Meaning of “careless” in the English Dictionary

"careless" in British English

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uk /ˈkeə.ləs/ us /ˈker.ləs/

careless adjective (NO ATTENTION)

B1 not taking or showing enough care and attention:

My son's teacher says that his work is often rather careless.
He made a careless remark (= one made without thinking) about her appearance that really upset her.

More examples

  • I tackled him about his careless work and frequent absences.
  • He's very careless with his money.
  • His work is full of careless mistakes.
  • She didn't mean to damage the painting, but she was too careless with it.
  • She's rather careless about her appearance.
adverb uk /ˈkeə.lə us /ˈker.lə


  • He tossed the paper carelessly into the bin.
  • He drives rather carelessly.
  • I carelessly left the keys on the table.


He told me off for driving carelessly.
noun [ U ] uk /ˈkeə.ləs.nəs/ us /ˈker.ləs.nəs/

(Definition of “careless” from the Cambridge Advanced Learner’s Dictionary & Thesaurus © Cambridge University Press)

"careless" in American English

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us /ˈkeər·ləs/

careless adjective (WITHOUT ATTENTION)

not using enough care:

My son’s schoolwork is often careless and sloppy.
adverb us /ˈker·lə·sli, ˈkær-/

She carelessly left her purse on the train.
noun [ U ] us /ˈker·lə·snəs, ˈkær-/

Carelessness leads to shoddy work.

(Definition of “careless” from the Cambridge Academic Content Dictionary © Cambridge University Press)