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Longman Dictionary of Contemporary English
▪ The editor would be remiss in her duties if the information were not reported.
▪ Even today, the day after, I am feeling a bit remiss.
▪ The Home Office has also been remiss about security devices, an important subject that has been debated at length today.
▪ The point was that he had been remiss and that he was sorry and wanted to make it right.
The Collaborative International Dictionary

Remiss \Re*miss"\, n. The act of being remiss; inefficiency; failure. [Obs.] ``Remisses of laws.''


Remiss \Re*miss"\ (r?-m?s"), a. [L. remissus, p. p. of remittere to send back, relax. See Remit.] Not energetic or exact in duty or business; not careful or prompt in fulfilling engagements; negligent; careless; tardy; behindhand; lagging; slack; hence, lacking earnestness or activity; languid; slow.

Thou never wast remiss, I bear thee witness.

These nervous, bold; those languid and remiss.

Its motion becomes more languid and remiss.

Syn: Slack; dilatory; slothful; negligent; careless; neglectful; inattentive; heedles; thoughtless.

Douglas Harper's Etymology Dictionary

early 15c., "weak, dissolved," from Latin remissus "relaxed, languid; negligent," past participle of remittere "slacken, abate, let go" (see remit). Meaning "characterized by lack of strictness" is attested from mid-15c.; that of "characterized by negligence" is from mid-15c.


a. 1 At fault; failing to fulfill responsibility, duty, or obligations. 2 Not energetic or exact in duty or business; careless; tardy; slack; hence, lacking earnestness or activity; languid; slow.


adj. failing in what duty requires; "derelict (or delinquent) in his duty"; "neglectful of his duties"; "remiss of you not to pay your bills" [syn: derelict, delinquent, neglectful]

Usage examples of "remiss".

God and in detestation of sin is too remiss, just as in Baptism adults receive a greater or a lesser grace, according to the various ways in which they prepare themselves.

I would be remiss if I did not encourage you to consider how other communities have risen from impoverishment to become thriving townships.

I should be remiss indeed if I fail to make her welcome after such a long journey.

When I came upon the two ladies, Miss Horton was exhorting her cousin to lend her her cloak, having been remiss in providing herself with sufficient cover.

On such points, where he ought to have been clear and direct, the young Russian had been as casual as Claude Dorat, legendarily remiss: Julien was unable to calculate exactly what moral stance he was supposed to assume at this dinner.

A long prosperity of bread-fruit and cocoanuts has rendered them remiss in the performance of their higher obligations.

To be sure, it would be remiss not to remark also that, as one would expect, some of the pettiest of jealousies, the most absurd of resentments, the vilest of acrimonies and the most inveterate of hatreds can obtain among these beautiful, vain, vital creatures, within the same house, where contests often rage, sometimes subtly and sometimes not, for the favor of the master, on which contests, needless to say, considerable shiftings in rank and hierarchy may hinge.

He had no clue why Valdor and Aldan would send him such a treasure when he had been so remiss in attending them, but he would remedy that from this day forward, performing any expected rituals.

Anything under twenty meant that nobody would notice anything remiss in the fog cooling system, because residual pressure would' maintain the fogging stream.

However remiss Eddies might have been in his duties, it was plain bad luck to mess up in front of the captain on the day they were receiving a Tarn delegate.

And while all such works were in progress to make the cavern liveable if not 'comfortable,' Lord Radu was not remiss in seeing to its defences: Outside, between the natural spurs of the crag, he built awesome death-trap gantlets for would-be invaders.

As you are part of the famous Gyrant Slahb family, I did not want to be remiss in my professional activities in your employ.

Would I be remiss in assuming it has something to do with the astonishing wealth that lies next to a dead Mai in the center of this chamber?

The second-guessers would have it that I was remiss in not advising caution more strongly.

His bowels assuredly were punctured several times over, and I would have been remiss in my responsibility to other men whose wounds were less grave had I wasted time on a man who could not be saved in any case.