Definitions

from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 4th Edition

  • adj. Heedless or careless.
  • adj. Headstrong; rash.
  • adj. Indifferent to or disregardful of consequences: a reckless driver.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

  • adj. Careless or heedless; headstrong or rash.
  • adj. Indifferent to danger or the consequences.

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • adj. Inattentive to duty; careless; neglectful; indifferent.
  • adj. Rashly negligent; utterly careless or heedless.

from The Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia

  • Not recking; careless; heedless; inattentive: in a mild sense.
  • Not recking of consequences; desperately heedless, as from folly, passion, or perversity; impetuously or rashly adventurous.
  • Synonyms Enterprising, Rash, etc. (see adventurous), incautious, unwary, unconcerned, indifferent, thoughtless. See list under rash.

from WordNet 3.0 Copyright 2006 by Princeton University. All rights reserved.

  • adj. marked by defiant disregard for danger or consequences
  • adj. characterized by careless unconcern

Etymologies

Middle English reckeles, from Old English rēcelēas; see reg- in Indo-European roots.
(American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth Edition)
From Middle English rekles, reckeles, from Old English rēcelēas ("reckless, careless, negligent"), equivalent to reck +‎ -less. Cognate with Dutch roekeloos ("reckless"), German ruchlos ("careless, notorious"). (Wiktionary)

Examples

  • Other motorcyclists, more assertive and impatient the word reckless came to mind, began snaking their way in the narrow space between lanes of stopped traffic, as is common here.

    NYT > Home Page

  • The fracas has put WikiLeaks in the position of decrying what it called the "reckless" and "negligent" disclosure of information—something WikiLeaks' critics have long accused it of doing itself.

    WikiLeaks Blames Paper for Breach

  • He said the sanctions risked engulfing the Horn of Africa in another cycle of conflict as it might encourage Ethiopia to contemplate what he called "reckless military adventures."

    Ethiopia Advocates Overthrow of Eritrean Government

  • Oregon Democrat Earl Blumenauer and Michigan Republican Dave Camp both used the word "reckless" to drive home their opposing points.

    US Congressional Vote on Debt Issue Delayed

  • Rep. John Kline R., Minn., chairman of the House Education and the Workforce Committee, urged the board to scrap what he called a reckless and job-destroying agenda.

    Plan to Ease Way for Unions

  • South Korean Prime Minister Kim Hwang-sik has urged North Korea to work for peace on the Korean peninsula and stop what he called "reckless military provocation".

    South Korea Marks 61st Anniversary of Start of Korean War

  • In a speech at Wall Street's Federal Hall in September of 2009, Obama warned the bankers that Washington was preparing to step in to stop what he called the reckless behavior that led to the economic crisis.

    Obama speech will castigate some of his biggest financial backers

  • DOUGHERTY: Despite what it calls reckless behavior by North Korea, the Obama administration is sticking to patient diplomacy, hoping a united front with North Korea's neighbors, China, Russia, Japan, and South Korea, could bring the North back to the negotiating table.

    CNN Transcript May 26, 2009

  • This, as lawmakers in both parties have been hearing outrage about the billions in taxpayer dollars that are still being spent to bail out big companies, what they call reckless companies, like AIG.

    CNN Transcript Mar 3, 2009

  • The president also promised more reforms to come, as his administration tries to crack down on what they refer to as a reckless culture.

    CNN Transcript Feb 4, 2009

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Comments

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  • opposite of calculated

    July 20, 2012

  • Cool. Thanks cb.

    November 25, 2007

  • From Online Etymology: O.E. receleas "careless, thoughtless, heedless," earlier reccileas, from -leas "-less" + *rece, recce "care, heed," from reccan "to care," from W.Gmc. *rokijanan (cf. O.N. rækja "to care for," O.H.G. giruochan "to care for, have regard to," Ger. geruhen "to deign," which is infl. by ruhen "to rest"). No known cognates outside Gmc. The same affixed form is in Ger. ruchlos, Du. roekeloos "wicked." Root verb reck (O.E. reccan) is passing into obscurity. The -k- sound is probably a northern influence from O.N. cognate roekja.

    Don't know what half of that means, but the other half is pretty interesting. :)

    November 24, 2007

  • What is the reck in this word? Is it like recognition, or reckoning? Is it a fossil noun meaning caution?

    November 24, 2007