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 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

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.

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

Shutting out fans not a good look Be careful, NFL owners. Ben Volin, BostonGlobe.com, "NFL offseason often a time for bad news," 6 July 2019 Yet after careful reanalysis, the data seemed to check out as real. Adam Mann, Scientific American, "Astronomers Don't Know What to Make of This Incredibly Bizarre Star," 3 July 2019 This would ensure a continuous increase in the number of health care workers through careful coordination and prediction of number of medical graduates. Olayinka Stephen Ilesanmi, Quartz Africa, "As Nigeria’s health infrastructure crumbles, doctors have become a key export," 3 July 2019 But don't mistake careful parenting for her being a stage mom. Martha Sorren, Woman's Day, "Melissa Ziegler Happily Left Fame Behind After 'Dance Moms'," 1 July 2019 Apple needs to be extra careful with this feature, because through it the company will be inserting itself into even more third-party interactions with users. Lily Hay Newman, WIRED, "'Sign In With Apple' Protects You in Ways Google and Facebook Don't," 4 June 2019 Neighbors who took enormous pride in their homes and made careful, considered, often-expensive choices that avoided the easy, generic path. Blair Kamin, chicagotribune.com, "'The Power of Preservation': Tribune architecture critic Blair Kamin on why historic preservation matters in Wilmette," 3 June 2019 But careful on those stairs—the couple is selling the home after Underwood’s serious fall on some outside stairs resulted in a broken wrist and 40 stitches in her face. Cator Sparks, House Beautiful, "Carrie Underwood Is Selling Her Tennessee Home," 11 Mar. 2019 Be extra careful with your wallet to avoid overspending. Venus Australis, refinery29.com, "Your Horoscope This Week," 23 June 2019

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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Statistics for careful

Last Updated

12 Jul 2019

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for careful

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

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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

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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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