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 \ ˈkȯ-​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

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 Seminole County officials have advised boaters on the St. Johns River to use caution by decreasing speeds, being mindful of debris in the water and watch out for low bridge clearances while water is high. Stephen Hudak, OrlandoSentinel.com, "Flood warning remains in effect for Geneva, St. Johns River," 6 July 2018 Hikers in the park were not ordered to evacuate, but are advised to use caution on trails with stream crossings. Mark Price, charlotteobserver, "Campers told to get out quickly as rain creates torrent of water at campground," 28 June 2018 Roadway flooding is likely, and motorists should use caution. Detroit Free Press Staff, Detroit Free Press, "Heavy rain to soak metro Detroit for evening commute, flooding likely," 21 May 2018 Use caution out there, folks! #LiveOnK2 #pdxtraffic pic.twitter.com/NRLtZWawBG -- Mike Warner (@MikeKATU) May 10, 2018 Heads up for Hawthorne Bridge closure Sunday, May 13 (and May 20) for annual maintenance work. Rosemarie Stein, OregonLive.com, "Portland Metro Thursday Traffic: Showers likely for the morning commute," 10 May 2018 With more cyclists expected to be on the streets that week, drivers should use extra caution. Carol Kovach, cleveland.com, "Lakewood Historical Society's Sale on the Grounds returns May 5-6: A Place in the Sun," 1 May 2018

Recent Examples on the Web: Verb

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 In fact, this is why the medicine’s makers explicitly caution against using it for puffy eyes. Shannon Romanowski, SELF, "Does Preparation H Actually Help Treat Puffy Eyes?," 28 Dec. 2018 That said, Fromberg cautions against obsessively monitoring, especially if a woman regularly experiences a normal cycle. Lauren Valenti, Vogue, "Why Every 20-Something Should Know More About Their Hormones—and Their Body," 25 Oct. 2018 But don’t rely too much on social media, cautions Lever. Rebecca Gale, Marie Claire, "How to Impact the Midterms, Even If You Don’t Live in a Swing State," 22 Oct. 2018 Although the two countries notched a temporary trade truce at the Group of 20 summit, analysts cautioned that the deal could fall apart. WSJ, "Investors Find Few Places to Hide in Rocky Year," 18 Dec. 2018 Meadows cautions that the process was more painful than getting a regular tattoo. Rose Minutaglio, Harper's BAZAAR, "I Loved Meghan Markle's Freckles So Much I Got Some Tattooed On My Face," 23 July 2018 Osborn cautioned that the absence of a rash should not lead to complacency. Anna Groves, Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, "Don't panic over first Rocky Mountain spotted fever death in Wisconsin, but be careful," 12 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

26 Jan 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 \

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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