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noun ca·ve·at \ˈka-vē-ˌät, -ˌat; ˈkä-vē-ˌät; ˈkā-vē-ˌat\

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. 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

  2. 2 :  a legal warning to a judicial officer to suspend a proceeding until the opposition has a hearing

Examples of caveat

  1. 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

  2. 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

  3. 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

  4. … 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

  5. His investment advice comes with a caveat: that the stock market is impossible to predict with absolute accuracy.

Origin of caveat

Latin, let him beware, from cavēre — more at hear

First Known Use: 1533

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February 14, 2016

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