Simple Definition of caveat
: an explanation or warning that should be remembered when you are doing or thinking about something
Full Definition of caveat
1 a : a warning enjoining one from certain acts or practices b : an explanation to prevent misinterpretation c : a modifying or cautionary detail to be considered when evaluating, interpreting, or doing something
Examples of caveat in a sentence
Sound great? There's just one caveat: Knowledge about how genes work is still in the scientific Stone Age. —Andrea Knox, Chicago Tribune, 4 Aug. 2000
We'll add a caveat of our own for parents: After your kids walk through 17,500 gal. of swirling water, they're not going to be satisfied running through the lawn sprinkler. —Jim Wilson, Popular Mechanics, July 1999
But the youthquake in the new economy comes with a caveat that also may begin applying to politics. If you're inexperienced and you want a big job, you'd better be smart as hell. —Jonathan Alter, Newsweek, 22 Nov. 1999
… a cluster bomb can destroy objects over a wider area, with the important caveat that it is effective only if the bomblets have sufficient destructive power on their own. —Norman Friedman, Desert Victory, 1991
His investment advice comes with a caveat: that the stock market is impossible to predict with absolute accuracy.
Did You Know?
You may be familiar with the old saying "caveat emptor," nowadays loosely translated as "let the buyer beware." In the 16th century, this adage was imparted as a safeguard for the seller: allow the buyer to examine the item (for example, a horse) before the sale is completed, so the seller can't be blamed if the item turns out to be unsatisfactory. "Caveat" in Latin means let him beware and comes from the verb "cavēre" ("to be on guard"). Perhaps you've also heard "caveat lector": "let the reader beware," a warning to take what one reads with a grain of salt. English retained "caveat" itself as a noun for something that serves to warn, explain, or caution. (The word caution is another descendant of "cavēre.")
Origin of caveat
Latin, let him beware, from cavēre — more at hear
First Known Use: 1533
Rhymes with caveat
acrobat, aerobat, aerostat, alley cat, apparat, Ararat, arrive at, assignat, autocrat, Automat, bell the cat, big brown bat, bureaucrat, butterfat, cervelat, chew the fat, civet cat, concordat, coolie hat, copycat, cowboy hat, democrat, diplomat, Dixiecrat, Eurocrat, fungo bat, habitat, hang one's hat, jungle cat, Kattegat, kleptocrat, Laundromat, leopard cat, marrowfat, mobocrat, monocrat, Montserrat, Norway rat, ochlocrat, off the bat, opera hat, pas de quatre, Persian cat, photostat, pit-a-pat, plutocrat, poke fun at, pussycat, railroad flat, rat-a-tat, rheostat, scaredy-cat, semimatte, shovel hat, smell a rat, spoonbill cat, take aim at, technocrat, theocrat, thermostat, tiger cat, Uniate, vampire bat, water rat, welcome mat, where it's at, ziggurat
Legal Definition of caveat
1a : a warning enjoining one from certain acts or practices b : an explanation to prevent a misinterpretation
2 : a notice to a court or judicial officer to suspend a proceeding until the opposition can be heard <a caveat entered in the probate court to stop the proving of the will>
Origin of caveat
Latin, may he/she beware
Seen and Heard
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