caution

1 of 2

noun

cau·​tion ˈkȯ-shən How to pronounce caution (audio)
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
cautionary adjective

caution

2 of 2

verb

cautioned; cautioning ˈkȯ-sh(ə-)niŋ How to pronounce caution (audio)

transitive verb

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

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. See More
Recent Examples on the Web
Noun
Employers must exercise caution when considering across-the-board RTO mandates. Michelle Travis, Forbes, 21 Feb. 2024 Byron asked in confusion after claiming the victory due to the caution flag, before crew chief Rudy Fugle confirmed the result. Homero De La Fuente, CNN, 20 Feb. 2024 Once Byron finished the final lap under the caution flag, by rule he was declared the winner. Scott Fowler, Charlotte Observer, 20 Feb. 2024 Some caution against holding food in the palm or licking any part of the hand. Ligaya Mishan Kyoko Hamada, New York Times, 18 Feb. 2024 This is different than cloning, Lyons cautions, which would create an exact copy of the mother ray. Stephanie Pappas, Scientific American, 18 Feb. 2024 In 2012, the race was scheduled for Sunday, moved to Monday because of rain and then had more delays, including a two-hour one when Juan Pablo Montoya lost control during a caution and hit a jet dryer, causing a fuel leak that erupted in fire. John Cherwa, Los Angeles Times, 18 Feb. 2024 Out of an abundance of caution, animal control and police officers will be present Thursday when students are arriving and leaving Arlington ISD’s Jones Academy of Fine Arts and Dual Language, the city said. Nicole Lopez, Fort Worth Star-Telegram, 15 Feb. 2024 Authorities are urging people using the lake to take caution, particularly around the Leonard Point Boat Landing area. Lauren Liebhaber, Kansas City Star, 13 Feb. 2024
Verb
Morgan Stanley cautioned against racing headfirst into AI, lest investors not have an adequate lay of the land before the bubble bursts. Paolo Confino, Fortune, 22 Feb. 2024 By 2019, Warner was touring West Virginia local high schools with a custom presentation cautioning students to not fall for Russian propaganda that seeks to divide Americans and denigrate their faith in democracy. Kevin Collier, NBC News, 22 Feb. 2024 Drinking too much water could even lead to a rare but serious condition called hyponatremia, in which the amount of sodium in the blood drops to dangerous levels, Jacob cautioned. Jani Hall, Health, 21 Feb. 2024 Still, Ukrainian officials caution that liberating occupied territories will be a slow process. Omar Rodríguez Ortiz, Miami Herald, 20 Feb. 2024 However, Lefkowitz cautions against over-reliance on technology alone, asserting that AI is a powerful tool but cannot replace the nuanced judgment and expertise of human analysts. Tony Bradley, Forbes, 20 Feb. 2024 But the association cautions that bedbugs can be transported just about anywhere in luggage or on clothing. Nathan Solis, Los Angeles Times, 20 Feb. 2024 But Clark cautioned crisp, almost photo-realistic imagery generated by Sora had to be married with traditional storytelling and narrative techniques to find wide audiences. Etan Vlessing, The Hollywood Reporter, 17 Feb. 2024 But several leading lawmakers, including House Speaker Mike Johnson, cautioned against being overly alarmed. Matthew Lee, arkansasonline.com, 15 Feb. 2024 See More

These examples are programmatically compiled from various online sources to illustrate current usage of the word 'caution.' Any opinions expressed in the examples do not represent those of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback about these examples.

Word History

Etymology

Noun

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

First Known Use

Noun

1566, in the meaning defined at sense 1

Verb

1683, in the meaning defined above

Time Traveler
The first known use of caution was in 1566

Dictionary Entries Near caution

Cite this Entry

“Caution.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/caution. Accessed 25 Feb. 2024.

Kids Definition

caution

1 of 2 noun
cau·​tion ˈkȯ-shən How to pronounce caution (audio)
1
2
: carefulness in regard to danger
3
: someone or something that astonishes or catches one's attention

caution

2 of 2 verb
cautioned; cautioning ˈkȯ-sh(ə-)niŋ How to pronounce caution (audio)
: to advise caution to : warn

More from Merriam-Webster on caution

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