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 Things get pretty crazy inside the map zits, so be careful. Paul Tassi, Forbes, 13 Sep. 2021 As such, the old adage of needing to be careful evaluating players in September goes out the window. Jon Meoli, baltimoresun.com, 13 Sep. 2021 So the Red Sox are being careful with one of their cornerstone players. BostonGlobe.com, 12 Sep. 2021 People are advised to be careful as the weather poses a risk of heat cramps, heat exhaustion and heat stroke. Mackenzie Brower, The Arizona Republic, 9 Sep. 2021 Be careful when participating in social events and gatherings. Tribune Content Agency, oregonlive, 9 Sep. 2021 Be careful when wearing high heels, which can dent your floors. Washington Post, 3 Sep. 2021 If media executives aren’t careful, the industry will soon be counting those people in equally chaotic fashion. Brian Steinberg, Variety, 2 Sep. 2021 And while both are bona fide party girls, Isa, who is brown, is always careful. Sangeeta Singh-kurtz, Vulture, 31 Aug. 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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Dictionary Entries Near careful

carefree

careful

caregiver

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Statistics for careful

Last Updated

16 Sep 2021

Cite this Entry

“Careful.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/careful. Accessed 19 Sep. 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.

More from Merriam-Webster on careful

Nglish: Translation of careful for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of careful for Arabic Speakers

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