caution

noun
cau·​tion | \ ˈkȯ-shən How to pronounce caution (audio) \

Definition of caution

 (Entry 1 of 2)

1 : warning, admonishment Her comments were intended as a caution to us to protect our property.
2 : precaution a surgeon taking the caution of sterilizing his instruments
3 : prudent forethought to minimize risk Use caution when operating a chain saw.
4 : one that astonishes or commands attention some shoes you see … these days are a cautionEsquire

caution

verb
cautioned; cautioning\ ˈkȯ-​sh(ə-​)niŋ How to pronounce cautioning (audio) \

Definition of caution (Entry 2 of 2)

transitive verb

: to advise caution to : warn She cautioned him not to act rashly.

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Other Words from caution

Noun

cautionary \ ˈkȯ-​shə-​ˌner-​ē How to pronounce cautionary (audio) , -​ne-​rē \ adjective

Examples of caution in a Sentence

Noun

You should use caution when operating the electric saw. He injected a note of caution in his talk. Her financial adviser urged caution before investing in the project. The roads are slippery: drive with extreme caution. Her comments were intended as a caution to us to protect our property. A note of caution: be sure that the electricity is off before you install the ceiling fan. She was given a caution by the magistrate.

Verb

Officials are cautioning that the war may continue for years. “Don't decide too quickly,” she cautioned. He was cautioned for speeding.
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Recent Examples on the Web: Noun

So these products should definitely be used sparingly—once every week or every few weeks is enough—and with caution. Sarah Jacoby, SELF, "Can Any Skin-Care Products Actually 'Detox' Your Face?," 3 May 2019 Warning: There are major spoilers ahead, so proceed with caution. Caroline Picard, Good Housekeeping, "Season 4 of 'The Good Place' Sounds Like It Will Be the Most Righteous One Yet," 3 May 2019 Proceed with extreme caution whether buying, selling, or simply possessing. Meredith Clark, Marie Claire, "Is CBD Even Legal Where You Live?," 12 Apr. 2019 As usual, the biggest culprit is government, which is why the Trump administration’s plan to ameliorate the problem should be met with caution. Allysia Finley, WSJ, "Trump’s Dubious Prescription-Price Plan," 5 Apr. 2019 The caution was the only on because of an on-track incident all night. Fox News, "Kyle Busch wins NASCAR Richmond race from the back of the pack," 24 Sep. 2018 The serial worrier in me can’t resist issuing a stern caution to those who hunger for the modern-day Transaction Game as much as (or more than) the game itself. Marc Stein, New York Times, "The N.B.A. Has the Hottest Stove. LeBron James Is the Flame.," 30 June 2018 Meanwhile, the spread between France’s impatience on one side, and the caution of Germany and a dauntingly large number of its allies on the other, remains as wide as ever. The Economist, "After months of preparation, a damp squib on euro-zone reform," 29 June 2018 Neither side wants to lose momentum but with one eye on the latter stages, caution will come before conviction and the group could be decided on fair play. SI.com, "World Cup Preview: England vs Belgium - Recent Form, Previous Encounter, Predictions & More," 27 June 2018

Recent Examples on the Web: Verb

Administration officials cautioned that no final decision has been made, and that the White House was still reviewing the deal. Peter Nicholas, WSJ, "Border-Security Funding Deal Nears a Vote," 14 Feb. 2019 In a Friday afternoon beach hazards statement, weather service meteorologists cautioned that wave heights of 3 to 6 feet were expected. Hannah Leone, chicagotribune.com, "Three pulled from lake at Loyola Beach in Rogers Park," 7 July 2018 The aid group, however, cautioned that Jordan, which already hosts hundreds of thousands of Syrians, cannot be expected to shoulder the burden alone. Washington Post, "Aid groups urge Jordan to open border to fleeing Syrians," 27 June 2018 The aid group, however, cautioned that Jordan, which already hosts hundreds of thousands of Syrians, cannot be expected to shoulder the burden alone. Sarah El Deeb, BostonGlobe.com, "Aid groups urge Jordan to open border to fleeing Syrians," 27 June 2018 Vatican officials, however, cautioned against interpreting the pontiff’s pastoral outreach as a definitive ruling on the nature-versus-nurture question or as a change in church teaching. Jason Horowitz, New York Times, "‘God Made You This Way,’ Pope Is Said to Have Told Gay Man," 21 May 2018 Al Maktoum cautioned, however, that business conditions remained tough. Ayaa Batrawy, USA TODAY, "Emirates airline annual profit soars to $762 million," 9 May 2018 However, analysts caution that such an advantage doesn’t necessarily forecasts a blue wave. Joshua Emerson Smith, sandiegouniontribune.com, "Trump effect remains uncertain in San Diego as June election approaches," 6 May 2018 The university, however, cautioned that parking is extremely limited during the week and using CATS light rail or bus is highly recommended. Joe Marusak, charlotteobserver, "A stinky 'corpse flower' has bloomed in Charlotte. You have 24 hours to smell 'Rotney' | Charlotte Observer," 3 May 2018

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'caution.' 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 caution

Noun

1566, in the meaning defined at sense 1

Verb

1683, in the meaning defined above

History and Etymology for caution

Noun

Latin caution-, cautio precaution, from cavēre to be on one's guard — more at hear

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Learn More about caution

Dictionary Entries near caution

cauterize

cautery

cautio

caution

cautioner

cautiones

caution money

Statistics for caution

Last Updated

18 May 2019

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for caution

The first known use of caution was in 1566

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More Definitions for caution

caution

noun

English Language Learners Definition of caution

 (Entry 1 of 2)

: care taken to avoid danger or risk : a careful attitude or way of behaving
: a warning telling someone to be careful
British, law : a spoken official warning given to someone who has done something illegal but has not committed a serious crime

caution

verb

English Language Learners Definition of caution (Entry 2 of 2)

: to warn or tell (someone) about a possible danger, problem, etc.
British, law : to give a caution to (someone)

caution

noun
cau·​tion | \ ˈkȯ-shən How to pronounce caution (audio) \

Kids Definition of caution

 (Entry 1 of 2)

1 : care taken to avoid trouble or danger : precaution They approached the dog with caution.
2 : warning a word of caution

caution

verb
cautioned; cautioning

Kids Definition of caution (Entry 2 of 2)

: to warn about danger

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More from Merriam-Webster on caution

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for caution

Spanish Central: Translation of caution

Nglish: Translation of caution for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of caution for Arabic Speakers

Comments on caution

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