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 Harsin might steal that, too, if Alabama coach Nick Saban isn’t careful. Joseph Goodman | Jgoodman@al.com, al, 9 July 2021 Pinkett Smith urged her daughter to be careful and listen to those closest to her for advice. Marcus Jones, EW.com, 7 July 2021 The flat is in the middle of a 10-day isolation and everyone is having to be careful. Tess Reidy, refinery29.com, 4 July 2021 Be careful when inspecting the damage in your basement. Emma Stein, Detroit Free Press, 30 June 2021 That even the divers searching for Yoskarly had to be careful. BostonGlobe.com, 25 June 2021 But be careful to monitor guests, especially children, around the water to prevent drowning and injuries, Connelly added. Chrystelle Vilfranc, The Indianapolis Star, 2 July 2021 For the renovation, the architectural team considered the neighborhood and the scale, careful to not overpower the site. Rohan Preston, Star Tribune, 2 July 2021 Nero’s owners have been careful to preserve its inimitable historical look, including the long bowsprit and yellow funnel in the center. Julia Zaltzman, Robb Report, 2 July 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

18 Jul 2021

Cite this Entry

“Careful.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/careful. Accessed 26 Jul. 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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