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I want to tell a colleague to use a particular file wherever possible. Basically the opposite of using it judiciously. I ended up saying "use the file at will" — but it got me wondering if there is a one-word antonym for judiciously. Google suggests foolishly or carelessly, but that's not what I want to convey.

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Why not just say 'use the file wherever possible', like you meant. – user13107 Sep 21 '12 at 10:27
@tchrist: except that means something like "foolishly" or "carelessly", which is not the meaning the OP is after. – Marthaª Sep 21 '12 at 14:25
You're confusing us because your use of judicious is faulty. "Wherever possible" calls on your colleague to act judiciously just as much as "as little as possible" or "only when necessary" would: he or she must judge whether use is "possible" or "necessary" in each situation. – StoneyB Sep 29 '12 at 23:50
up vote 11 down vote accepted

How about: "use the file liberally"?

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I would say the opposite of judiciously can be freely.

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This answer can be improved by adding a citation. – MετάEd Sep 26 '12 at 3:53

Judicious (and the adverb's meaning parallels closely - contrast say a scheming person and a scheme of work) is defined primarily as well-considered, wise. (having, exhibiting or proceeding from good judgment - freedictionary)

It also allows of the near-synonym prudent, which has the sense

not (1) but (2) (autoformat naughty here). Careful in regard to one's own interests; provident. (AHDEL)

The antonyms referring to the wise sense are injudicious (general) and capricious or even cavalier (silly or callous behaviour) while an example of an antonym for the prudent sense is prodigal.

To convey the sense 'Don't feel restricted in how much you can use the file' here, which isn't a diametric opposite, the suggestions already given work well, except for Use it liberally which is the diametric opposite of Use it sparingly; the single-word version for the 'you decide exactly how much to use it' sense is '(You may) use it freely.'

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+1 I definitely think freely is the most appropriate word for OP's context, but I like the fact that your answer goes into detail about why it's not really an "antonym" of judiciously in general. It just so happens OP's context skews the meaning of judiciously towards infrequently rather than without exercising careful judgement. – FumbleFingers Sep 21 '12 at 14:18
I can't make sense of "(autoformat naughty here)". It's apparent that your post needs some editing/formatting, but without understanding what the heck is going on in that paragraph, I can't fix it. – Marthaª Sep 21 '12 at 14:28
Hello, Martha. I tried to cut-and-paste: (2) Careful in regard to one's own interests; provident. (AHDEL) but the (2) was adjusted to (1). This happened on my second attempt also. I felt it was important to show that this was the second polyseme the AHDEL listed and not the first. And I did not wish to be outsmarted by a machine. – Edwin Ashworth Sep 23 '12 at 18:49
Hello, @Martha. I don't think the problem (trying to quote bullet point 3 say rather than 1 in an article) has been addressed yet. – Edwin Ashworth Nov 9 '14 at 23:25

From the context, it would seem that you are looking for an antonym to sparingly, not judiciously.


"Go ahead, use it generously."

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Perhaps the easiest thing to say would be, “Use the file whenever you want.” However, it sounds like you're trying to encourage the file's use more than that vanilla statement might convey.

Another way might be, “Feel free to make heavy use of the file,” which hints at the fact that you'd like to see the file heavily used.

If that's not sufficiently persuasive, you could try, “Feel free to use the file with abandon.”

Collins defines abandon as “unrestrained freedom of action,” and the word usually implies some sort of indulgence.

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I am a profligate user of certain files myself. I use them with wild abandon; sometimes with no provocation whatsoever.

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I don't think this is quite the word the OP is looking for, but +1 anyway for making me laugh. :) – Marthaª Sep 21 '12 at 14:31
-1 Sadly, that's not what the OP means to say, though he (rather incorrectly) uses the word judiciously. I'm sure he is not asking people to use it carelessly. – Kris Sep 22 '12 at 6:08

I like the term promiscuously. Merriam-Webster's 2nd definition states:

not restricted to one class, sort, or person : indiscriminate: education … cheapened through the promiscuous distribution of diplomas — Norman Cousins

It connotes a feeling of abandon, and the double entendre adds a charm.

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Indiscriminately, since no-one else has explicitly suggested it. To me, injudiciously, although it is technically a more exact antonym, suggests the conscious application of poor judgement, whereas indiscriminately suggests that judgement should not be exercised at all, making it a better fit for what you're trying to say.

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Sadly, that's not what the OP means to say, though he (rather incorrectly) uses the word judiciously. I'm he is not asking people to use it carelessly. – Kris Sep 21 '12 at 13:15

protected by RegDwigнt Sep 21 '12 at 10:37

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