careful

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

Definition of careful

1 archaic

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

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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

Using too much thinner could strip the primer, so be careful. Anthony Alaniz, Popular Mechanics, "How to Paint a Car," 4 Feb. 2019 Trump says a great many things on Twitter and isn’t careful with his words, so some courts have concluded that his words can’t be taken literally or seriously. Sean Illing, Vox, "Did Trump commit witness tampering by tweet? I asked 9 legal experts.," 3 Dec. 2018 More careful? Meaning your business people want everything locked down. Recode Staff, Recode, "Full transcript: Box CEO Aaron Levie on Recode Decode," 11 July 2018 His movements are swift but careful, developed over six years of practice at the Lake City Fish Market in Grand Rivers, Kentucky. Bailey Loosemore, The Courier-Journal, "Kentucky is swimming with potential to take over the US caviar market," 28 June 2018 Now, this is a careful, churchgoing woman making twenty bucks an hour, minimum. Joseph O’neill, The New Yorker, "The First World," 21 June 2018 Originally constructed in 1912, the historic home has been renovated with careful intent to preserve its original character and still provide modern amenities. Megan Barber, Curbed, "Charming 1912 house on a private island asks $4.9M," 5 Dec. 2018 To store quantum information in a gas, physicists usually take the very careful approach. Chris Lee, Ars Technica, "Rough-and-ready quantum memory may link disparate quantum systems," 9 Nov. 2018 If researchers know that producing bad work has social and career consequences, this incentivizes more careful and diligent work. Ars Technica, "The Journal of Controversial Ideas—academic freedom sans responsibility is reckless," 25 Nov. 2018

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 1a

History and Etymology for careful

see care entry 1

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Statistics for careful

Last Updated

22 Feb 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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