• (RP) IPA: /ˈkɛəlɪs/, /ˈkɛələs/
  • (GA) IPA: /ˈkɛɹləs/


  1. Not concerned or worried (about). [from 11thc.]
    • 1907, Robert William Chambers, chapter IV, in The Younger Set, New York, N.Y.: D. Appleton & Company, OCLC 24962326 ↗:
      "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.
  2. Not giving sufficient attention or thought, especially concerning the avoidance of harm or mistakes. [from 16thc.]
    • 1991, Stephen Fry, The Liar, p. 49:
      I don't find the pose of careless youth charming and engaging any more than you find the pose of careworn age fascinating and eccentric, I should imagine.
    Jessica was so careless that she put her shorts on backwards.
  3. (archaic) Free from care; unworried, without anxiety. [from 11thc.]
    • 1851 November 13, Herman Melville, chapter 27, in Moby-Dick; or, The Whale, 1st American edition, New York, N.Y.: Harper & Brothers; London: Richard Bentley, OCLC 57395299 ↗:
      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.
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