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 infinitivecareful 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 carefully (audio) \ adverb
carefulness \ ˈker-​fəl-​nəs How to pronounce carefulness (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 Defense officials also want to be careful not to do anything to weaken its ability to defend the nation. Washington Post, "US military’s role in response to virus outbreak is growing," 19 Mar. 2020 Any major new direct-hire program would still take some time and careful planning to set up, but there’s plenty of work that could be done virtually right away. Kate Aronoff, The New Republic, "Green Jobs Are the Answer to the Coronavirus Recession," 18 Mar. 2020 Unsurprisingly, the internet is playing a critical role in getting the word out to be careful and to help flatten the COVID-19 curve. Gregory Porumbescu, The Conversation, "The digital divide leaves millions at a disadvantage during the coronavirus pandemic," 18 Mar. 2020 Be careful not to splash the bleach solution on your clothes or in your eyes and use it sparingly on stainless steel sinks and surfaces. Lynn Redmile, Good Housekeeping, "The Right Way to Kill Coronavirus Germs, According to Cleaning Experts," 17 Mar. 2020 Blend the edges into the wall, careful not to sand down to the patch. Sara Rodrigues, House Beautiful, "How to Repair Drywall the Right Way," 17 Mar. 2020 If Ponte isn't careful, the current coronavirus pandemic could have a similar effect on her. Ayanna Runcie, CBS News, ""This is going to compound your problems": Coronavirus poses new challenge for many with mental illness," 16 Mar. 2020 Many months of detailed analysis and checking of the data followed, as did time for a careful write-up our findings. Simon Lewis, Quartz Africa, "Scientists tracked 300,000 trees only to find rainforests are losing their power to help humanity," 12 Mar. 2020 Kirby was careful to emphasize that the revenue declines United is preparing for in the coming months don’t amount to company forecasts. Richard Clough, BostonGlobe.com, "Airlines brace for a virus-fueled crisis," 10 Mar. 2020

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

21 Mar 2020

Cite this Entry

“Careful.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/careful. Accessed 30 Mar. 2020.

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More Definitions for careful

careful

adjective
How to pronounce careful (audio)

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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More from Merriam-Webster on careful

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for careful

Spanish Central: Translation of careful

Nglish: Translation of careful for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of careful for Arabic Speakers

Comments on careful

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