Negligent, neglectful, lax, slack, remiss are comparable when applied to persons, their ways of working or acting, and the results of their work or activities with the meaning culpably careless or manifesting such carelessness.
Negligent implies such culpable inattentiveness as is likely to result in imperfection, incompleteness, slovenliness, or danger or damage to others.
Neglectful is usually more derogatory or censorious than negligent, for it carries a stronger connotation of laziness or deliberate and blameworthy inattention.
Lax (see also LOOSE ) implies a usually blameworthy lack of necessary strictness, severity, or precision; the term applies chiefly to persons who do not satisfy the rigorous demands made upon them by their work or duties or to work or an activity performed or carried on without the close attention, constant care, or strict adherence to law or custom that is necessary.
Slack (see also LOOSE ) stresses the want of proper or necessary diligence and expedition as well as of care; the term usually also implies indolence or sluggishness or indifference. When applied to what is accomplished by a slack worker, the term usually suggests neglect of important details necessary to the completeness, finish, or perfection of the work.
Remiss implies culpable carelessness that shows itself in slackness and forgetfulness or in negligence; it is applied chiefly to something lax in performance or maintenance, but it may be applied to a person who is unduly careless or lax in the performance of his duties.