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

After the stock bounce, there remain plenty of reasons for caution. Aaron Back, WSJ, "Look Past Goldman’s Fourth-Quarter Glitter," 16 Jan. 2019 In a practical sense, Medicare-for-all proponents have acknowledged the need for caution by simply not endorsing explicit financing mechanisms for their health care vision. Matthew Yglesias, Vox, "Centrist Democrats are out of ideas," 30 July 2018 Eleven laps after the caution flag came out for the first massive wreck, Stenhouse got into the back of Kyle Busch, triggering another multi-car accident that then collected the No. Michelle R. Martinelli, For The Win, "How Ricky Stenhouse Jr. infuriated both Kyle and Kurt Busch in NASCAR race," 11 July 2018 The Coke Zero Sugar 400 featured 10 caution flags totaling 46 laps. Edgar Thompson, OrlandoSentinel.com, "Emotion-filled 22-year-old Erik Jones captures chaotic Coke Zero Sugar 400," 9 July 2018 By not pitting during a caution flag to change tires like some others did, Truex had his car in the lead for a restart with 18 laps to go. John Smallwood, Philly.com, "Martin Truex Jr. chooses clean air over fresh tires to win Pocono 400," 3 June 2018 Few people get fired for an overabundance of caution, after all. Vlad Savov, The Verge, "The future of electric car design has yet to be written," 5 Oct. 2018 In addition to the hot spots, Phoenix fire is using extreme caution due to the lack of structural integrity of the remaining walls, Subervi said. Nathan J. Fish, azcentral, "Lessons from Phoenix firefighter's 2001 death influenced way crews handled Safeway fire," 12 July 2018 Also use caution launching at the Area 1 boat ramp within the state park. Tyler Mahoney Special To The Star, kansascity, "Fishing report: Catfish action picking up in Kansas, Missouri lakes," 11 July 2018

Recent Examples on the Web: Verb

While stocks and other risky investments were higher again Tuesday, some analysts caution that the lockstep moves could lead to more volatility ahead if sentiment around global growth sours again. Amrith Ramkumar, WSJ, "Oil Extends Rebound as Oversupply Fears Ease," 8 Jan. 2019 Intelligence officials caution about the national security implications of Chinese technology outpacing the US or being used for nefarious ends. Emily Stewart, Vox, "The US government’s ongoing battle with Chinese telecom giant Huawei, explained," 11 Dec. 2018 Gruber speculates that Field’s return to Titan suggests Apple could still have an interest in producing vehicles itself, while cautioning that employees do move between the two companies regularly. Sam Byford, The Verge, "Tesla’s chief vehicle engineer returns to Apple," 10 Aug. 2018 As with Argentina's first-half penalty, Simeone's histrionics were enough to persuade Danish referee Kim Milton Nielsen to show Beckham the red card, while the Argentina captain was merely cautioned for the initial foul. SI.com, "World Cup Countdown: 5 Weeks to Go - England Fall to Argentina Despite Teen Sensation's Wonder Goal," 17 May 2018 But in 2013, some critics cautioned that more women following Sandberg’s example might not be a good thing for the country or the world. Anna North, Vox, "How Facebook’s scandals are hurting Sheryl Sandberg’s Lean In brand," 17 Dec. 2018 But before adventurous souls decide to check out the subterranean passageways, ASU cautions there are hazardous materials and scaling pipes. Rachel Leingang, azcentral, "Rooftop pools? Haunted buildings? 8 Arizona university myths debunked, confirmed," 20 June 2018 Johnson cautioned that nothing is official, but all signs point to the sophomore ending his collegiate career in the coming weeks. Tyson Alger, OregonLive.com, "Oregon Ducks sophomore Norman Xiong drawing comparisons to Tiger Woods," 11 May 2018 With the additional cameras however, both body cams and drones have become the topic of conversation among local advocacy groups who caution that not enough is being done to safeguard individuals’ rights to privacy. Shannon Liao, The Verge, "New York City cops will fly a drone over the New Year’s Eve celebration at Times Square," 30 Dec. 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

9 Mar 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

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