Definitions

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

  • adj. Not providing for the future; thriftless.
  • adj. Rash; incautious.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

  • adj. failing to provide for the future; reckless
  • adj. incautious; prone to rashness

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • adj. Not provident; wanting foresight or forethought; not foreseeing or providing for the future; negligent; thoughtless.

from The Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia

  • Not provident; wanting foresight; neglecting to provide for future needs or exigencies; unthrifty.
  • Synonyms Imprudent, shiftless, careless, prodigal. See wisdom.

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

  • adj. not given careful consideration
  • adj. not provident; not providing for the future

Etymologies

From the Latin improvidens; in- + provident (Wiktionary)

Examples

  • I do not like being asked to pay large sums of money for windfalls to the improvident, but given the choice between improvident families losing their homes and stock and bondholders in improvident banks, I know whose windfall I’d choose to hand my a share of my income to.

    Discourse.net: Feh

  • After all, the wild Indians could not be justly termed improvident, when their manner of life is taken into consideration.

    Indian Boyhood

  • How are the 'improvident' -- 'harum-scarums' to live if you are not present to minister to their wants -- upon the best of security? "

    The Story of the Foss River Ranch

  • So the war in Afghanistan must be gradually downshifted to the Left's pre-Iraq take on it: the "improvident" "quagmire" that "really solves nothing" and has only (as Obama said of the Bush approach) "given a huge boost to terrorist recruitment in countries that say, 'Look, this is how the United States treats Muslims.'"

    National Review Online

  • 'improvident' (that was the favourite word) down the Yard.

    Little Dorrit

  • He found “a substantial ground of truth in the indictment” of working-class Americans as “improvident and apparently incompetent to take care of the pecuniary details of their own life.”

    A Renegade History of the United States

  • In Europe, Germans think Greeks and other southern Europeans are lazy and improvident.

    The Volokh Conspiracy » Some Scientists’ Openness to the Possibility of Genetic Differences in Mental Traits Among Racial and Ethnic Groups

  • I think we've made it abundantly clear that we who pay the taxes have had enough of subsidising the indolent, improvident, and irresponsible.

    In health care reform debate, Obama puts focus on affordability

  • It bails out the improvident and sticks those who made prudent decisions with the bill.

    Notable & Quotable

  • And let's not forget the coastal vacation properties in Hilton Head Island or Florida covered by the National Flood Insurance Program—"the taxpayer's gift to improvident beach dwellers," as Mr. Sykes puts it.

    More, Please

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