Legal Definition and Related Resources of Neglect

Meaning of Neglect

To fail to do something, to leave out, omit through carelessness. The term may also be equivalent to fault and imprudence. A disregard of duty owing to indifference or wilfulness. Pima county Adoption of B-6355 and H-533, (Matter o appeal )575 P.2d326, 118 Ariz. 127. Neglect is said to stand in the same categor; with wrongful act, implying an omissior. of duty. Northern P.R. Co. v Adams, 191 U.S. 440, 24 S.Ct. 408, 48 L.Ed. 513.

Adoption Legal Definition of Neglect

The failure to provide for the child’s basic needs. Neglect can be physical, educational or emotional. Physical neglect can include not providing adequate food or clothing, appropriate medical care, supervision or proper weather protection (heat or coats). Educational neglect includes failure to provide appropriate schooling, special educational needs or allowing excessive truancies. Psychological neglect includes the lack of any emotional support and love, chronic inattention to the child, exposure to spouse abuse or drug and alcohol abuse.

Learn more with the Adoption Thesaurus

Synonyms of Neglect


  • abandonment
  • absentmindedness
  • breach
  • bungling
  • careless abandon
  • carelessness
  • default
  • delinquency
  • dereliction
  • disregard
  • failure
  • heedlessness
  • idleness
  • improvidence
  • imprudence
  • inaction
  • inadvertence
  • inattention
  • inattentiveness
  • incuria
  • indifference
  • indiligence
  • indiligentia
  • inexecution
  • inexertion
  • laches
  • laxity
  • laxness
  • misprision
  • neglegentia
  • negligence
  • noncompletion
  • noncompliance
  • nonfeasance
  • nonfulfillment
  • nonobservance
  • nonperformance
  • omission
  • oversight
  • procrastination
  • prodigality
  • rashness
  • recklessness
  • remissness
  • slackness
  • slight
  • sloth
  • slovenliness
  • thoughtlessness
  • unactivity
  • unalertness
  • unconcern
  • unconscientiousnessunheedfulnessunmindfulness
  • unobservance
  • unwariness
  • unwatchfulness
  • Associated Concepts: culpable neglect
  • neglect of duty
  • neglect to act
  • neglect to prosecute
  • willful neglectforeign phrases: Magna culpa dolus est
  • Gross neglect is the equivalent of fraud


  • be careless
  • be inattentive
  • be lax
  • deserere
  • disdain
  • disregard
  • fail
  • forget
  • gloss over
  • ignore
  • intermittere
  • lay aside
  • leave alone
  • lose sight of
  • neglegere
  • not care for
  • not use
  • omit
  • overlook
  • pass by
  • pass over
  • pay no attention
  • pay no heed to
  • pay no regard to
  • pretermit
  • procrastinate
  • refuse to recognize
  • shirk
  • shun
  • skip
  • slight
  • take no note
  • take no notice

Related Entries of Neglect in the Encyclopedia of Law Project

Browse or run a search for Neglect in the American Encyclopedia of Law, the Asian Encyclopedia of Law, the European Encyclopedia of Law, the UK Encyclopedia of Law or the Latin American and Spanish Encyclopedia of Law.

Neglect in Historical Law

You might be interested in the historical meaning of this term. Browse or search for Neglect in Historical Law in the Encyclopedia of Law.

Legal Abbreviations and Acronyms

Search for legal acronyms and/or abbreviations containing Neglect in the Legal Abbreviations and Acronyms Dictionary.

Related Legal Terms

You might be also interested in these legal terms:

Mentioned in these terms

Culpa, Delinquency, Dishonor, Fault, Ignorance Of Fact, Indignity, Laches, Lapse, Misprison, Misprison Of Felony, , Refuse, Tenancy At Sufferance, Trespass.


See Also

  • Law Dictionaries.
  • Assertiveness skills training; Family therapy

    Child Abuse; Necessaries.

  • Neglect in Law Enforcement

    Main Entry: Law Enforcement in the Legal Dictionary. This section provides, in the context of Law Enforcement, a partial definition of neglect.


    See Also

    • Law Enforcement Officer
    • Police
    • Law Enforcement Agency

    Further Reading



    , , ,



    Leave a Reply

    Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *