3

I looked up blithe in the dictionary, which means "happy and without worry." For example, "She shows a blithe disregard for danger." I just don't understand what a blithe disregard means in the context.

1

3 Answers 3

4

In this context, you use "blithe" when something that would normally cause great concern is not a concern to the subject. The subject does not care about something that people would normally care about. This lack of caring frees the subject to do something unusual. This lack of caring allows the person to be "happy and without worry" when a normal person would worry and therefore not be happy.

In "she shows a blithe disregard for danger", we would expect someone to show concern for danger (avoiding it, fearing it, approaching it carefully, etc.), but she defies that expectation. It is as if she is immune to whatever concerns would normally hold someone back from danger. Maybe she does not care about her own safety. Maybe she thinks she is invincible, or maybe she just does not care if she gets hurt.

2
  • 1
    You also left out the possibility that she really is invincible. Maybe it just hasn't been revealed yet.:)
    – DRF
    Commented Aug 3, 2015 at 10:29
  • Does the carefreeness come from the unawareness of the situation of the person, or from the ignorance of them (while they still be aware of it)?
    – Ooker
    Commented Mar 17, 2016 at 12:25
4

The adjective blithe used to mean happy and carefree, but over time it has also come to describe someone who isn't paying attention the way they should. (vocabulary.com)

  1. carefree and happy and lighthearted

    was loved for her blithe spirit

  2. lacking or showing a lack of due concern

    spoke with blithe ignorance of the true situation

1

To be blithe means to be unconcerned and carefree, especially in situations where one should be heedful of risk to oneself or to others.

The chemical manufacturer showed a blithe disregard for the health and safety of the town's residents when it discharged toxic waste into the stream.

The explorer blithely crossed the crocodile-infested river in a small dugout canoe. He smoked his meerschaum pipe while the guide paddled.

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service and acknowledge you have read our privacy policy.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.