Definition of inadvertent in English:



  • Not resulting from or achieved through deliberate planning.

    ‘an inadvertent administrative error occurred that resulted in an overpayment’
    ‘he was pardoned for inadvertent manslaughter’
    • ‘However, inadvertent contamination of some food products has been uncovered.’
    • ‘The students also had a certain stylistic flair, however inadvertent.’
    • ‘Small amounts of exposure occur from inhalation, skin absorption, and inadvertent ingestion of contaminated soil or dust.’
    • ‘There are two separate issues here: deliberate copying and stealing of information, and inadvertent copying and leaking.’
    • ‘Studies show that persons deemed beautiful by social norm receive inadvertent preferential treatment.’
    • ‘The inherent demeaning nature of such language is inadvertent, I am sure.’
    • ‘During normal engine operation, the inadvertent contamination of fuel by water and other contaminants must be tolerated.’
    • ‘Members of the defensive team need to be aware of an inadvertent or accidental tag of home plate by the catcher in such situations.’
    • ‘Second, convictions may become disclosed by the inadvertent disclosure or consent of the offender.’
    • ‘This electoral process will be more transparent than in recent years, because of both intended and inadvertent government reforms.’
    • ‘Casting a blank glance at me, he looks as though it is I who should apologize for his inadvertent offence.’
    • ‘There are other inadvertent legal forces that have contributed to this new monitoring regime, one of which is the expansion of sexual harassment law.’
    • ‘Hand hygiene is believed to be the primary strategy for prevention of inadvertent inoculation or transmission of the virus.’
    • ‘I doubt very much that the good judge requested that his inadvertent disclosure be off the record.’
    • ‘I made a mental note to leave more space between seedlings next time, although the effect I'd achieved by inadvertent crowding was lovely.’
    • ‘As a result of centuries of both deliberate and inadvertent plant breeding, the varieties used today have little resemblance with their wild ancestors.’
    • ‘Biosecurity protocols and border testing are in place, and inadvertent contamination is under better control.’
    • ‘The law should not pursue those allegedly guilty of minor, inadvertent or technical crimes decades ago, because to do so is disproportionate and oppressive.’
    • ‘There is no other evidence of actual or inadvertent disclosure to any third party.’
    • ‘Presumably, they acquired the disease through inadvertent exposure.’
    unintentional, unintended, accidental, unpremeditated, unplanned, unmeant, innocent, uncalculated, unconscious, unthinking, unwitting, involuntary
    View synonyms


Mid 17th century (earlier ( late Middle English) as inadvertence): from in- ‘not’ + Latin advertent- ‘turning the mind to’ (from the verb advertere).