Definition of neglect in English:



[with object]
  • 1Fail to care for properly.

    ‘the old churchyard has been sadly neglected’
    • ‘Faith knew that she was neglecting the people that cared about her but she couldn't help it.’
    • ‘By that time they say the baby would already have spent a long time in care or in an orphanage and may have been neglected or maltreated.’
    • ‘We need books that touch the pulse of our community in new ways - ways that teach us how to take our Path powerfully into the future without forgetting our past or neglecting our present.’
    • ‘Some people may also neglect their own personal care and hygiene.’
    • ‘Most of your wedding plans will focus on the practical details, but take care not to neglect yourself in the process.’
    • ‘Castledermot is looking nicely spruced up, although some premises are sadly neglected, and in need of a face lift.’
    • ‘My concern with this is that rural communities are going to be neglected and forgotten by the power base of the urban voter.’
    • ‘Small wonder that sometimes patients slip through the net of care and are shamefully neglected.’
    • ‘You and I have have been together for so long now you may feel that I sometimes neglect you, or fail to tell you how I really feel.’
    • ‘Wilson's is one of the most incisive, informed texts on the man who is still neglected and forgotten.’
    • ‘Mr Bradley said the responsible adult was guilty of neglecting the child in their care and should be prosecuted.’
    • ‘The mother may not be able to love or care for the child and it will be neglected during and after pregnancy.’
    • ‘This worked well when properly supervised but failed when neglected.’
    • ‘And then, once the theoretical package is in place, you have to look around and see if it is being applied properly, or whether the tradition is neglecting someone or something.’
    • ‘He could have put me into care or neglected me or something.’
    • ‘Yet her statue has long been neglected and forgotten in West Bank Park.’
    • ‘Keepers initially feared that first-time mother Kamlesh may have neglected the infants or failed to bond with them.’
    • ‘And I feel like I have neglected my blog, having not updated properly all week.’
    • ‘No army cares for its sick and wounded while neglecting its on-duty, frontline soldiers.’
    • ‘She was all that was holding them together; she neglected herself to take care of her family.’
    uncared for, mistreated, abandoned, forsaken
    run down, derelict, dilapidated, tumbledown, ramshackle, untended, unmaintained
    fail to look after, fail to care for, fail to provide for, leave alone, abandon
    View synonyms
    1. 1.1 Not pay proper attention to; disregard.
      ‘you neglect our advice at your peril’
      • ‘An overemphasis on any one level of care will neglect issues of great importance.’
      • ‘He's also accused the Federal Government of playing politics with the funding by neglecting some critical areas.’
      • ‘And there has been a disproportionate swing on focus - the focus should have moved to borough but it is disproportionately so and it is neglecting some other key areas of business.’
      • ‘We neglect the health care of the poor at our own risk, and we will damage low-income health care by jacking up the fees for UC medical students.’
      • ‘Most of the literature concerned with medical decisions in nursing homes focuses on the autonomy of residents and utility of care, but neglects the complexity involved in the process.’
      • ‘And don't neglect proper funding of scientific research - after all, that is the cornerstone of a knowledge economy.’
      • ‘Over the years, I neglected that area because I wasn't thinking about it as a judged part.’
      • ‘We have set up a youth initiative in an area neglected by traditional youth systems.’
      • ‘All the tracks were written by teenagers and the lyrics exposed racial tensions and claims that the council had neglected the area.’
      • ‘It is an issue that is sadly neglected yet could enhance all our lives if given more thought.’
      • ‘And most of us who ride bikes today are aware of appropriate rider training but often neglect the important area of protective gear.’
      • ‘For example, avoiding problems results in a worker becoming apathetic, by not bringing work problems to the attention of supervisors or neglecting their responsibilities.’
      • ‘Of course, Sanders is also taking care not to neglect the bowling side of the operation.’
      • ‘He cooks up a theory that implies that record collectors collect while neglecting other areas of their lives that require attention.’
      • ‘In my opinion, the former KMT government neglected its duty to seriously handle this threat.’
      • ‘The current absence of evidence from randomised trials should not be used as an excuse for neglecting basic care for patients with stroke.’
      • ‘As such, we may pay close attention to our physical health while neglecting other areas of human experience.’
      • ‘He neglected his duty to the peace and failed to monitor and mould our involvement with the US government and its forces.’
      • ‘He is sadly pedaling a form of escapism that neglects the real material existence.’
      • ‘After all, post elections, the governor has seen the fate of governments which have neglected these areas.’
      disregarded, forgotten, overlooked, ignored, unrecognized, unnoticed, unsung, underestimated, undervalued, unappreciated, passed over, spurned
      pay little attention to, pay no attention to, let slide, not attend to, be remiss about, be lax about, leave undone, lose sight of, skimp on, shirk, skip
      disregard, ignore, pay no attention to, take no notice of, pay no heed to, discount, set aside, overlook, turn a deaf ear to, throw to the winds
      View synonyms
    2. 1.2with infinitive Fail to do something.
      ‘he neglected to write to her’
      • ‘He neglects to mention the other sites his search brings up.’
      • ‘During the rigid examinations, inspectors regularly fail the trainees for neglecting to clip all strings out of the inside of their shirt pockets and failing to shine both sides of their brass belt buckles.’
      • ‘If you provide enough disk storage, an entire backup run can proceed on schedule even when a tape drive fails or when somebody neglects to load the expected tapes.’
      • ‘This same article neglects to mention the average weekly admittance through alcohol-related injuries, a little more severe than the pill related ‘illnesses’.’
      • ‘However, he neglects to mention that at 316 Thames Valley and Essex sites, which represented more than half of the trial, the number of injury accidents actually increased!’
      • ‘She should have felt those petals, but sorry, this author neglected to write that detail.’
      • ‘No one criticizes a singer for failing to present evidence, or neglecting to cite the sources from which the singer obtained information.’
      • ‘You just shouldn't neglect to care for them properly.’
      • ‘The Defendant has failed and neglected to account to the Claimant.’
      • ‘However, he neglects to point out that my father was a deck-hand on the Forrest River launch and could have easily accompanied or followed the search party without being listed on the public record.’
      • ‘This gambit is particularly effective when your interviewer courteously neglects to probe you on your ‘Come to Jesus’ transformation.’
      • ‘Many reintroduction programs fail or have limited success because they neglect to account for the behavioral ecology of the species of concern.’
      • ‘‘If a member of the public neglects to mention that they are taking a herbal remedy when purchasing a prescription medicine the implications could be very serious indeed,’ she said.’
      • ‘He insists that he'll not be in a particular hurry - though he neglects to mention whether he'll pick it up a gear if, approaching Loch Lomond, he realises that the Lions are about to kick off.’
      • ‘But he neglects to tell us how this was achieved.’
      • ‘He neglected to point out that the current policies have failed miserably, in every way.’
      • ‘Over all, about half of the errors were omissions - neglecting to tell the doctor important facts or failing to ask about allergies.’
      • ‘As for the Integrity Act, while it spells out the definition of corruption, it neglects to state any sanctions for government officials found guilty of abusing their office.’
      • ‘For example, he neglects to mention (or perhaps space did not permit) that one of the flaws of manual counting is being deliberately imported into the computerised and supposedly more accurate system.’
      • ‘With his usual lack of concreteness, however, he neglects to point out that the most important present challenge to this country comes from the danger of terrorism itself and the priorities it imposes on us.’
      fail, omit, forget, not remember
      View synonyms


mass noun
  • 1The state of being uncared for.

    ‘the place had a hopeless air of neglect’
    • ‘I think the council could do more to prevent this kind of vandalism and dispel the air of neglect which pervades this allotment.’
    • ‘Guyana, although rich in natural resources, has suffered from neglect and lack of investment over the last thirty years.’
    • ‘Outside the core, it continues to be blighted by an air of neglect.’
    • ‘There is, however, one basic fact, in that over 30 years in the ownership of Leeds City Council the Civic Centre has been allowed to deteriorate with enthusiastic neglect.’
    • ‘The majority of the houses obtained by private landlords were now exhibiting signs of neglect and dilapidation.’
    • ‘It will not only record, but also highlight the true extent of empty buildings, derelict shops, empty houses, other signs of neglect and lack of important services.’
    • ‘Children born into trauma, loss, deprivation and neglect, begin this way.’
    • ‘Many had died from nearly three years of neglect, hunger, disease, and torture at the hands of the Japanese.’
    • ‘The Empty Property Strategy aims to identify the problems created by empty housing, both social and financial, which occur as the result of neglect or abandonment.’
    • ‘It's as welcome as it is overdue - utilitarian covers and some less-than-sparkling CD transfers had given their back catalogue an air of neglect.’
    • ‘Life in the camps was sometimes easier than subsistence on the war-torn veld, but malnutrition, disease, and neglect killed 42,000 camp inmates.’
    • ‘The pain of neglect and abandonment seemed to wear off.’
    • ‘The number of holy wells in the British Isles runs into many thousands, including those still in use, those in assorted states of neglect and dilapidation, and those which have disappeared from view.’
    • ‘An air of neglect hung over the whole complex, almost completely masking the grandeur of the original plan.’
    • ‘There was an air of neglect around the place as it was slowly and silently crumbling.’
    • ‘According to the leader of a Co Mayo-based women's group, widespread neglect is depriving rural women of their rights as citizens.’
    • ‘Further along the river, villages tell the story of neglect and abandonment and a people living in abysmal conditions.’
    • ‘The photo below is of a building in central Havana that collapsed yesterday after decades of neglect and deterioration.’
    • ‘The cottage door had been newly painted but, in the grey of the afternoon, the bedraggled vines that clung to the brickwork gave the place an air of neglect.’
    • ‘Nothing looked the same and a vague air of neglect and disrepair hung over the streets, businesses, and homes.’
    disrepair, dilapidation, deterioration, shabbiness, disuse, abandonment
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    1. 1.1 The action of not taking proper care of someone or something.
      ‘she was accused of child neglect’
      • ‘A coroner has rejected a family's claims that medical neglect contributed to the death of their war-veteran father.’
      • ‘A jury at Chelmsford Coroners Court yesterday returned a unanimous verdict of accident contributed to by system neglect.’
      • ‘The coroner said there had been ‘a catalogue of misunderstandings and confusions’, although he said it was impossible to record a verdict of death contributed to by neglect.’
      • ‘Many lower to middle class women sought caesarean sections to avoid what they considered poor quality care and medical neglect, resulting from social prejudice.’
      • ‘This social neglect to take care of our elderly is seriously eroding the international image of the nation as the world's 12 th largest economic power.’
      • ‘The police received a complaint from the Dutch Party for Animals against the horses' owner, who has been accused of neglect in the past.’
      • ‘Medical neglect occurs when medical care is withheld.’
      • ‘Disabled adults were subjected to a horrifying catalogue of abuse and neglect at a Yorkshire care home, a court heard yesterday.’
      • ‘Come on city council, show that you care before a tragedy exposes your neglect.’
      • ‘It was the first time in more than eight years that an inquest in the city had recorded a verdict of neglect on a patient who had been cared for at a local hospital.’
      • ‘A family told of their anguish last night after an inquest jury found neglect at a Sheffield care home had contributed to the tragic death of a stroke patient hours after his emergency buzzer was taken away.’
      • ‘Our older guys who have fallen on hard times are not only the victims of alcohol dependence or psychiatric illness but also familial neglect and institutional neglect.’
      • ‘So, we could be accused of neglect in that sense, but, at the time, we certainly were not putting pressure on basic research scientists to produce applied research.’
      • ‘More families accused of abuse or neglect were being referred by ACS workers to preventive programs like counseling and drug treatment.’
      • ‘A recent study by the Aid agency Care illustrates the scale of the West's neglect.’
      • ‘An inquest in February returned a verdict of death from natural causes contributed to by neglect and said that the father-of-three would likely have survived had it not been for the delays.’
      • ‘In the Muslim Arab social construction of family, to be less involved could be considered neglect and even abandonment of the family member in need.’
      • ‘The spiky-haired girl just stands there silently as she's accused of neglect.’
      • ‘Since then, however, North Korea has benefited from American neglect and inattention.’
      • ‘In her words, ‘We are now reaping the whirlwind, the just reward for our scorn, and our neglect,’ during that time.’
    2. 1.2 Failure to do something.
      ‘he was reported for neglect of duty’
      • ‘I only hope that no one was injured because of the brief and regretted irresponsible neglect of my Civic Duty in reporting that which I believe to be criminal.’
      • ‘An inquest into Ricky's death returned an open verdict and a Police Complaints Authority report showed that evidence had been lost and three officers were found guilty of neglect of duty.’
      • ‘If, for example, an allegation of neglect of duty is concerned, then very often it is not just the front line officer who is responsible but the supervisors and middle managers.’
      • ‘‘We should try to understand whether any decisions made by officials amounted to neglect of his or her duties,’ he said.’
      • ‘Oil contamination would result from neglect of compressor maintenance, leading to mechanical failure.’
      • ‘I am well aware of the construction of this super edifice and suggest that 130 years of life would be an under-estimation, the recent neglect of roof repairs.’
      • ‘There was a near total neglect of development by the last government, especially where the grassroots communities were concerned.’
      • ‘Earlier this year Janet and supporters marched on Downing Street in October to demand a public inquiry into Christopher's death after five police officers were cleared of neglect of duty.’
      • ‘Portlaoise hospital was seventh from the bottom of the 54 acute hospitals in the damning report that shows widespread neglect of basic hygiene practices.’
      negligence, failure to take proper care, lack of proper care and attention, dereliction of duty, non-fulfilment of duty, non-performance of duty, failure to take proper action, remissness, neglectfulness, carelessness, heedlessness, lack of concern, unconcern, laxity, laxness, slackness, irresponsibility
      View synonyms


Early 16th century: from Latin neglect- ‘disregarded’, from the verb neglegere, from neg- ‘not’ + legere ‘choose, pick up’.