careful

adjective
care·​ful | \ ˈker-fəl How to pronounce careful (audio) \
carefuller; carefullest

Definition of careful

1a : marked by wary caution or prudence be very careful with knives
b : marked by attentive concern and solicitude careful farm management
c : marked by painstaking effort to avoid errors or omissions often used with of or an infinitive careful of moneycareful to adjust the machine
2 : exercising or taking care careful of a child's welfare
3 archaic
b : filling with care or solicitude

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Other Words from careful

carefully \ ˈker-​f(ə-​)lē How to pronounce careful (audio) \ adverb
carefulness \ ˈker-​fəl-​nəs How to pronounce careful (audio) \ noun

Choose the Right Synonym for careful

careful, meticulous, scrupulous, punctilious mean showing close attention to detail. careful implies attentiveness and cautiousness in avoiding mistakes. a careful worker meticulous may imply either commendable extreme carefulness or a hampering finicky caution over small points. meticulous scholarship scrupulous applies to what is proper or fitting or ethical. scrupulous honesty punctilious implies minute, even excessive attention to fine points. punctilious observance of ritual

Examples of careful in a Sentence

He is a careful driver. You can never be too careful about these things. Be careful! The stove is hot! She was careful of their feelings. The police were careful to leave the room exactly as they found it. Police made a careful examination of the scene. They produced a careful study of the building.
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Recent Examples on the Web Shouldn’t a careful reader notice that the Declaration and the Constitution are at the center of the EAD’s list of themes? Paul O. Carrese, National Review, 9 June 2021 With the Ethical AI team’s help, Google launched a limited service that just recognized public figures and was offered only to customers in the media after careful vetting. Tom Simonite, Wired, 8 June 2021 This is supported by a downturn in credit card searches and an increase in purchase financing and commercial lending, essentially showing borrowers are becoming more careful in choosing their loans and providers. Dmitry Dolgorukov, Forbes, 8 June 2021 Broil until caramelized, being careful not to burn. Cheryl V. Jackson, The Indianapolis Star, 8 June 2021 My dad was a big baseball fan, but very careful not to take me into big crowds ... Dan Sewell, Star Tribune, 7 June 2021 Today no architect would build on the Vineyard without careful attention to sustainability and energy efficiency, with all design consciously harnessed to minimize a house’s impact on the land. BostonGlobe.com, 6 June 2021 But careful attention should be paid when states move backward on voter access, particularly if the new restrictions would impact certain groups of voters differently from others. Michael Waldman, Fortune, 6 June 2021 Binda's careful work yields golden wines that are textural and unusual; the experimental nature of the vineyard means the wine changes dramatically each year. Sarah Souli, Travel + Leisure, 6 June 2021

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'careful.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

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First Known Use of careful

before the 12th century, in the meaning defined at sense 3a

History and Etymology for careful

see care entry 1

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Time Traveler for careful

Time Traveler

The first known use of careful was before the 12th century

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Statistics for careful

Last Updated

12 Jun 2021

Cite this Entry

“Careful.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/careful. Accessed 13 Jun. 2021.

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More Definitions for careful

careful

adjective

English Language Learners Definition of careful

: using care
: made, done, or said with care

careful

adjective
care·​ful | \ ˈker-fəl How to pronounce careful (audio) \

Kids Definition of careful

1 : using care a careful driver
2 : made, done, or said with care careful planning She gave a careful answer.

Other Words from careful

carefully \ -​fə-​lē \ adverb

Choose the Right Synonym for careful

careful and cautious mean taking care to avoid trouble. careful is used for a person who is able to prevent mistakes or accidents by being alert. Be careful when you paint the fence. cautious is used for a person who takes care to avoid further problems or difficulties. A cautious driver will drive slowly in bad weather.

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