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

The National Weather Service, concerned about the combination of high temperatures and high humidity, is urging caution for those spending time outdoors today. Leigh Morgan, al.com, "Heat advisories continue for parts of Alabama today," 10 July 2019 So proceed with caution and know that certain APKs may not work as intended. Cameron Faulkner, The Verge, "How to get Google apps on an Amazon Fire tablet," 8 July 2019 Fireworks injure 2,000 children each year in this country, and Hartford Fire Chief Reginald Freeman urged extreme caution during Thursday’s activities. Josh Kovner, courant.com, "Summer safety forum at Connecticut Children’s stresses parental supervision, provides sobering stats on fireworks, drownings, lawnmower accidents, falls from windows, hot-car deaths," 3 July 2019 Nonetheless emails show that Aval’s president, Luis Sarmiento, the son of Colombia’s wealthiest man, was aware of the issue and urged caution so that a winning bid would not be undone by a lawsuit. Time, "World Bank Arm Implicated in Latin American Graft Scandal," 2 July 2019 Nonetheless emails show that Aval’s president, Luis Sarmiento, the son of Colombia’s wealthiest man, was aware of the issue and urged caution so that a winning bid would not be undone by a lawsuit. Washington Post, "World Bank unit implicated in Latin America graft scandal," 2 July 2019 The acting secretary of D.H.S., Kevin McAleenan, urged caution, claiming that the operation was a distraction and a waste of manpower. Jonathan Blitzer, The New Yorker, "ICE Agents Are Losing Patience with Trump’s Chaotic Immigration Policy," 24 June 2019 On Capitol Hill, leaders urged caution, and some lawmakers insisted the White House must consult with Congress before taking any actions. Lolita C. Baldor, BostonGlobe.com, "Trump approves strikes on Iran, but then abruptly pulls back," 21 June 2019 Others have urged caution as tensions have escalated between the United States and Iran. Nicholas Wu, USA TODAY, "Trump says he doesn't want war, but Sen. Cotton called for 'retaliatory strikes' on Iran," 16 June 2019

Recent Examples on the Web: Verb

Ottwein cautions all buyers — especially young singles — against taking any mortgage (fixed or adjustable) that feels uncomfortably large. Ellen James Martin, courant.com, "Smart Moves: Tips for young, single homebuyers," 19 June 2019 The highest continuous paved road in the U.S. opened at noon on Wednesday but drivers are cautioned to exercise extra care. John Meyer, The Know, "Rocky Mountain National Park’s scenic Trail Ridge Road finally opens," 5 June 2019 McAleenan, according to several officials, had cautioned against the idea, much like other leaders who were eventually ousted. Washington Post, "Leaks, accusations and staff shuffle: Turmoil inside DHS," 27 June 2019 But the Americans have cautioned against reading too much into that game. Nancy Armour, USA TODAY, "U.S. women to face perhaps biggest threat in France in quarterfinals," 24 June 2019 And even if the team did take such a risk, Durant’s own doctor—had he or she been inadequately informed by the Warriors and with access to relevant tests—would have cautioned Durant against the risk. Michael Mccann, SI.com, "Kevin Durant's Achilles Injury and the Potential Legal Implications," 17 June 2019 But the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change has cautioned against ascribing particular rain or drought events to human activity. Lisa W. Foderaro, National Geographic, "Climate change has contributed to droughts since 1900—and may get worse," 1 May 2019 Cave rescue specialists have cautioned against that approach except as a last resort, because of the dangers posed by inexperienced people using diving gear. Tassanee Vejpongsa And Kaweewit Kaewjinda, chicagotribune.com, "Thai soccer coach apologizes in letter to parents as boys write they are 'doing fine'," 7 July 2018 Cave rescue specialists have cautioned against that approach except as a last resort, because of the dangers posed by inexperienced people using diving gear. NBC News, "Thai soccer coach apologizes and boys send love to family in letter from cave," 7 July 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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Dictionary Entries near caution

cauterize

cautery

cautio

caution

cautioner

cautiones

caution money

Statistics for caution

Last Updated

13 Jul 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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