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

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. See More
Recent Examples on the Web The families all had children too young to be vaccinated and continued to be careful about virus exposure. Julia O'malley, Anchorage Daily News, 13 Sep. 2022 Kitting yourself up for any outdoor sport is a game of careful consideration. The Editors, Outside Online, 6 Sep. 2022 Now those women are all trapped in their homes, and Gailani’s family has to be very careful about going anywhere. Kate Morrissey, San Diego Union-Tribune, 28 Aug. 2022 The total cure time for most countertop paint jobs is around 14 days, so be careful about using your space before then. Nafeesah Allen, Better Homes & Gardens, 22 Aug. 2022 One of our sons has always been very careful about his diet and follows all the latest research on the most healthful way to eat. Amy Dickinson, cleveland, 17 Aug. 2022 Consider a budget carrier: Bangs said budget carriers should be considered for going point to point in the United States, but be careful about out-of-country flights. Forrest Brown, CNN, 17 Aug. 2022 The decision to reduce the number of hours worked is one that can only be made with careful consideration, with leaders considering both the future of the business and the perspective of their workers. Expert Panel®, Forbes, 15 Aug. 2022 For parents without cargo bikes, hauling groceries and laundry merits careful consideration. Kendra Hurley, Good Housekeeping, 22 July 2022 See More

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.

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

Learn More About careful

Time Traveler for careful

Time Traveler

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

See more words from the same century

Dictionary Entries Near careful

carefree

careful

caregiver

See More Nearby Entries 

Statistics for careful

Last Updated

16 Sep 2022

Cite this Entry

“Careful.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/careful. Accessed 26 Sep. 2022.

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More Definitions for careful

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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