According to wiktionary.org they are synonyms. However, most words have a slight difference in the way or in which context they are used. I would like to know those differences.

For example, when one has two mathematical models that describe data where you have an error measure to see their performance. Would you rather say A) or B) or is it really synonymous?

A) The performance differences of model alpha and model beta are negligible.

B) The performance differences of model alpha and model beta are neglectable.

  • 4
    The most obvious difference is that written instances of "are neglectable" are negligible by comparison with "are negligible" Commented Oct 16, 2014 at 17:58
  • @FumbleFingers: Thanks for that! I always forget Google nGrams (and nice word play ;-) ) Commented Oct 16, 2014 at 18:08
  • Merriam-Webster Online says that neglectable is an archaic form of negligible. Some other dictionaries omit neglectable entirely.
    – Barmar
    Commented Oct 17, 2014 at 23:13
  • 1
    In a way, "negligible" is about uncountable values, and "neglectable" is about countable ones.
    – Hot Licks
    Commented Oct 21, 2014 at 3:08
  • 2
    Are you permitted to bypass it? It's neglectable. Is its value near zero? It's negligible. That sheer nightgown? It's negligeeable.
    – SrJoven
    Commented Oct 21, 2014 at 4:35

2 Answers 2


I wouldn't use sentence B. Negligible means small enough to be ignored. Neglectable is just too archaic, and suggests, to me at least, a piece of fruit you could safely ignore by leaving it on the ground to rot.

  • 1
    You should add the link to Google Ngrams (as well as an image of the plot) posted above in the comments to support your answer with data. Commented Oct 21, 2014 at 4:38

They seem to mean separate things:

Negligible suggests "so small in size that it can be discarded"

Neglectable suggests a more wilful action, neglecting something or someone, because of a perceived lack of worth, not because of size.

It seems a pity to throw away the word "neglectable" just because is used less: it brings up the notion of "neglect", whereas negligible does not.

  • Welcome to English Language & Usage! This is correct, though it's helpful to add citations if you find relevant ones. Commented Feb 25, 2016 at 11:22

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