from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 5th Edition.

  • adjective Exhibiting a lack of attention; not attentive.

from The Century Dictionary.

  • Not attentive; not fixing the mind attentively; heedless; careless; negligent: as, an inattentive habit.
  • Synonyms Abstracted, Preoccupied, etc. See absent.

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English.

  • adjective Not attentive; not fixing the mind on an object; heedless; careless; negligent; regardless

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License.

  • adjective Of or pertaining to lack of attention; not paying attention; careless.

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

  • adjective showing a lack of attention or care
  • adjective not showing due care or attention


Sorry, no etymologies found.


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  • Although lauded for his creative vision, he has faced criticism for what has been described as inattentive supervision.

    National Opera Considers Merger 2010

  • The active ingredient in marijuana, THC, actually makes people hyper and inattentive, which is exactly what parents of children with ADHD are trying to avoid.

    Glenwood Springs Post Independent - Top Stories 2009

  • Another way is that "inattentive" or distracted driving was recorded as a "primary" factor for just 7% of the 50,430 drivers involved in fatal accidents in 2008.

    New Puzzle: Why Fewer are Killed in Car Crashes Joseph B. White 2010

  • Sivak and Schoettle found that in 2005, 2,369 fatal accidents were blamed on "inattentive" driving – including eating, talking or using a phone.

    New Puzzle: Why Fewer are Killed in Car Crashes Joseph B. White 2010

  • The very name of the people had crept into our language as a synonym for 'inattentive'; to do a Speck's day of work meant to do almost nothing at all.

    Shaman's Crossing Hobb, Robin 2005

  • Deputies said in the past year, they investigated 28 traffic crashes involving "inattentive" teen drivers.

    The Oak Ridger Home RSS Staff reports 2010

  • Investigators described her as "inattentive," said she had room to change lanes and was "unprepared" to come to a complete stop.

    The Two Malcontents 2009

  • Of course every imaginable behavior that could be deemed as "inattentive" couldn't be included or the bill would have run on for hundreds of pages, so the sponsor added this little phrase to cover all bases:

    Israelated - English Israel blogs 2009

  • Bottom line on Peralta's poor decision in the first inning: It was exactly the kind of inattentive play that is inexcusable for a veteran.

    unknown title 2009

  • We only just recently determined my oldest has ADHD, the "inattentive" subtype, and he's ten and in fourth grade.

    Uppercase Woman 2009


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  • joantonym = intent

    April 25, 2008