Quantcast
Merriam-Webster Logo
  • Dictionary
  • Thesaurus
  • Medical
  • Scrabble
  • Spanish Central
  • Learner's Dictionary

cautious

play
adjective cau·tious \ˈkȯ-shəs\

Simple Definition of cautious

  • : careful about avoiding danger or risk

Full Definition of cautious

  1. :  marked by or given to caution <cautious investors> <cautious optimism>

cau·tious·ly adverb
cau·tious·ness noun

Examples of cautious

  1. Any cautious tourist will guard her passport.

  2. You cannot be overly cautious when you're driving in snow.

  3. He answered the question with a cautious reply.



1614

First Known Use of cautious

1614

Synonym Discussion of cautious

cautious, circumspect, wary, chary mean prudently watchful and discreet in the face of danger or risk. cautious implies the exercise of forethought usually prompted by fear of danger <a cautious driver>. circumspect suggests less fear and stresses the surveying of all possible consequences before acting or deciding <circumspect in his business dealings>. wary emphasizes suspiciousness and alertness in watching for danger and cunning in escaping it <keeps a wary eye on the competition>. chary implies a cautious reluctance to give, act, or speak freely <chary of signing papers without having read them first>.

Rhymes with cautious


CAUTIOUS Defined for Kids

cautious

play
adjective cau·tious \ˈkȯ-shəs\

Definition of cautious

  1. :  showing or using care to avoid trouble or danger

cau·tious·ly adverb




Seen and Heard

What made you want to look up cautious? Please tell us where you read or heard it (including the quote, if possible).

WORD OF THE DAY

February 13, 2016

a trying or distressing experience

Get Word of the Day daily email!

WORD GAMES

Take a 3-minute break and test your skills!

image33683556

How much does a batman (the Turkish unit of measurement) weigh?

2.2 pounds 16.96 pounds 196.5 pounds 100 pounds
Name That Thing

10 quick questions: hear them, spell them, and see how your skills compare to the crowd.

TAKE THE QUIZ
SCRABBLE® Sprint

Test Your Knowledge - and learn some interesting things along the way.

TAKE THE QUIZ