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From The Collaborative International Dictionary of English v.0.48:
Negligence \Neg"li*gence\, n. [F. n['e]gligence, L. negligentia.] The quality or state of being negligent; lack of due diligence or care; omission of duty; habitual neglect; heedlessness. [1913 Webster] 2. An act or instance of negligence or carelessness. [1913 Webster] remarking his beauties, . . . I must also point out his negligences and defects. --Blair. [1913 Webster] 3. (Law) The omission of the care usual under the circumstances, being convertible with the Roman culpa. A specialist is bound to higher skill and diligence in his specialty than one who is not a specialist, and liability for negligence varies acordingly. [1913 Webster] Contributory negligence. See under Contributory. [1913 Webster] Syn: Neglect; inattention; heedlessness; disregard; slight. Usage: Negligence, Neglect. These two words are freely interchanged in our older writers; but a distinction has gradually sprung up between them. As now generally used, negligence is the habit, and neglect the act, of leaving things undone or unattended to. We are negligent as a general trait of character; we are guilty of neglect in particular cases, or in reference to individuals who had a right to our attentions. [1913 Webster]