Neg"li*gence (?), n. [F. n'egligence, L. negligentia.]

The quality or state of being negligent; lack of due diligence or care; omission of duty; habitual neglect; heedlessness.


An act or instance of negligence or carelessness.

remarking his beauties, ... I must also point out his negligences and defects. Blair.

3. Law

The omission of the care usual under the circumstances, being convertible with the Roman culpa. A specialist is bound to higher skill and diligence in his specialty than one who is not a specialist, and liability for negligence varies acordingly.

Contributory negligence. See under Contributory.

Syn. -- Neglect; inattention; heedlessness; disregard; slight. -- Negligence, Neglect. These two words are freely interchanged in our older writers; but a distinction has gradually sprung up between them. As now generally used, negligence is the habit, and neglect the act, of leaving things undone or unattended to. We are negligent as a general trait of character; we are guilty of neglect in particular cases, or in reference to individuals who had a right to our attentions.


© Webster 1913.