Meaning of “neglect” in the English Dictionary

"neglect" in British English

See all translations

neglectverb [ T ]

uk /nɪˈɡlekt/ us /nɪˈɡlekt/

C1 to not give enough care or attention to people or things that are your responsibility:

to neglect your appearance/the house
He neglects that poor dog - he never takes him for walks or gives him any attention.
She's been neglecting her studies this semester.
neglect to do sth

C2 to not do something, often because you forget:

I'd neglected to give him the name of the hotel where I'd be staying.
He neglected to mention the fact that we could lose money on the deal.

More examples

  • He rather neglected his children in favour of his career.
  • I've been neglecting my friends recently.
  • She's been neglecting the housework.
  • The government is neglecting its duty to protect the vulnerable.
  • He was prosecuted for neglecting his animals.

neglectnoun [ U ]

uk /nɪˈɡlekt/ us /nɪˈɡlekt/

C1 a situation in which you do not give enough care or attention to someone or something, or the state of not receiving enough care or attention:

Both parents were found guilty of neglect and their child was taken away from them.
Over the years the church has fallen into a state of neglect.

More examples

  • Doctors guilty of neglect are liable to prosecution.
  • The present crisis is the result of years of wilful neglect by the council.
  • A bit of healthy neglect is good for children.
  • I'm afraid my garden is suffering from neglect.
  • They accused their foster parents of neglect.

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

"neglect" in American English

See all translations

neglectverb [ I/T ]

us /nɪˈɡlekt/

to fail to give needed care or attention to someone or something:

[ T ] She had neglected the program and allowed student interest in it to fall off.
[ I ] He neglected to tell his employer that he would be taking the day off.
noun [ U ] us /nɪˈɡlekt/

The park was in a sorry state of neglect.

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