caution

noun
cau·​tion | \ˈkȯ-shən \

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 \

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 \ -​shə-​ˌner-​ē , -​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

Other Democrats have called for caution, wary that shifting focus from the midterm elections would be counterproductive, as would a divisive intraparty fight over what makes up acceptable policy positions. Rachel Van Dongen, Washington Post, "The Daily 202: One Republican senator has the power to defeat Trump's Supreme Court nominee," 2 July 2018 Suraj Patel, an Obama alum who is challenging Rep. Carolyn Maloney, D-N.Y., in Tuesday's primary, is unconvinced by those calling for caution. NBC News, ""Abolish ICE!" is the new rallying cry for progressive Democrats," 22 June 2018 One explanation for this German caution is the growing presence in the V4 of rival influences. The Economist, "Germany’s troubled relations with the Visegrad states show the limits to its power," 14 June 2018 The statement accepts both decisions in principle but calls for caution in implementation. Fox News, "Ethiopia's reforms challenged by party in ruling coalition," 13 June 2018 In the past year, two anti-poaching conservationists have been murdered, one in Kenya and another in Tanzania, so there’s good reason for caution. Issie Lapowsky, WIRED, "Tusks, Horns, and Claws: The Fight to Dismantle the Facebook Animal Parts Bazaar," 5 June 2018 Earlier in May, the Mets opted for caution with their best pitcher, Jacob deGrom, and his hyperextended elbow. James Wagner, New York Times, "Old Pest Torments Mets: The Injury Bug," 31 May 2018 Add risks including trade tensions due to U.S. tariffs, controversy over Iran policies and Italy’s struggles to form a government to the recipe of reasons for caution. Jana Randow, Bloomberg.com, "Global Economic Rebound Yet to Show as Manufacturing Weakens," 23 May 2018 There is another cause for caution with Mr. Trump: his unpredictability. CBS News, "Trump plans to stump aggressively in midterms — but is he wanted everywhere?," 19 May 2018

Recent Examples on the Web: Verb

Advisers had also cautioned Trump against doing anything dramatic in the weeks before the midterm elections next month. Jonathan Lemire, The Seattle Times, "Reprieve for Rosenstein: Trump says he’s not firing official," 8 Oct. 2018 The message also cautioned residents from taking matters into their own hands. Jennifer Aldrich, Country Living, "Will North Carolina's Famous Wild Horses Survive Hurricane Florence?," 13 Sep. 2018 The practice had drawn widespread criticism, including from medical experts, who cautioned that forced family separation could cause irreparable psychological harm to children. Jamie Ducharme, Time, "Separating Kids From Parents Can Cause Psychological Harm. But Experts Say Detaining Them Together Isn't Much Better," 21 June 2018 Trump's latest tariffs statement will likely be met with apprehension from Republicans in Congress and U.S. business interests, who have cautioned the administration about the potential harm to American consumers, farmers and companies. Don Lee, latimes.com, "Trump threatens to slap tariffs on an additional $200 billion in Chinese goods, raising trade tensions," 19 June 2018 Jeff Marano, president of Hallandale Beach's Police Benevolent Association, also cautioned the public not to jump to conclusions. Charles Rabin, miamiherald, "Police union defends baton beating caught on video as within 'use of force matrix'," 1 June 2018 However, on Wednesday an Airbus spokesperson cautioned that no specific production change for Mobile has been confirmed. Lawrence Specker, AL.com, "Airbus growth plans developing; could mean Alabama jobs," 26 Apr. 2018 Kegel also cautioned against focusing too heavily on other causes of homelessness such as mental illness or physical disability. Kevin Litten, NOLA.com, "Housing affordability in New Orleans could reverse homeless trend, study says," 25 Apr. 2018 But with savings interest rates expected to keep rising — albeit slowly still — some financial advisors caution that locking your money into a CD for a long period may not be wise. Katheleen Conti, BostonGlobe.com, "Banks are offering higher interest rates for savings accounts. But you still need to be smart," 11 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

2 Nov 2018

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

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.

law : to give a caution to (someone)

caution

noun
cau·​tion | \ˈkȯ-shən \

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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