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From Middle English careles, from Old English carlēas ‎(careless, reckless, void of care, free from care, free), equivalent to care +‎ -less.



careless ‎(comparative more careless, superlative most careless)

  1. (archaic) Free from care; unworried, without anxiety. [from 11thc.]
    • 1851, Herman Melville, Moby-Dick, Chapter 27:
      Good-humored, easy, and careless, he presided over his whale-boat as if the most deadly encounter were but a dinner, and his crew all invited guests.
  2. Not concerned or worried (about). [from 11thc.]
    • 1907, Robert W. Chambers, chapter IV, The Younger Set:
      "He was here," observed Drina composedly, "and father was angry with him." ¶ "What?" exclaimed Eileen. "When?" ¶ "This morning, before father went downtown." ¶ Both Selwyn and Lansing cut in coolly, dismissing the matter with a careless word or two; and coffee was served—cambric tea in Drina's case.
  3. Not giving sufficient attention or thought, especially concerning the avoidance of harm or mistakes. [from 16thc.]
    Jessica was so careless that she put her shorts on backwards.



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