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 However, a caution that is untimely for someone that has pitted versus someone who hasn’t is a complete game changer. BostonGlobe.com, "Kyle Busch won the pole and all eight title contenders qualified in the top 10 for the final race to decide the championship field.," 10 Nov. 2019 There may be some room to increase taxes and experiment with different kinds of policy, but some caution is necessary. Allison Schrager, Quartz, "Will a wealth tax change the behavior of the very rich?," 8 Nov. 2019 O’Rourke also implied that Buttigieg’s caution on confiscations was the result of poll testing and focus groups. Matt Pearce, Los Angeles Times, "Pete Buttigieg attacks gun mandatory buyback; Beto O’Rourke stands firm," 15 Oct. 2019 For now, investors are responding to the news with more than a sense of caution. Kevin Kelleher, Fortune, "A Farewell to Fees: As Brokerages Drop Trading Commissions, a Wave of Consolidation May Follow," 3 Oct. 2019 His previous caution came 18 minutes earlier for not retreating from an Atlanta restart. Field Level Media, The Mercury News, "San Jose Earthquakes suffer tough loss to Atlanta United, go winless on trip," 21 Sep. 2019 This caution was a major motivator for the initial development of behaviorism. Dean Mobbs, Scientific American, "On the Nature of Fear," 20 Sep. 2019 Her caution on impeachment contrasts sharply with the more confrontational approach of the progressive freshmen. Daniela Altimari, courant.com, "As Democrats drift left, liberal firebrand Rep. Rosa DeLauro finds herself squarely in the center," 18 Aug. 2019 For all their caution, Generation Z does have an entrepreneurial streak. Bloomberg Wire, Dallas News, "Understanding Gen Z this back-to-school through lens of their Gen X parents," 30 July 2019 Recent Examples on the Web: Verb That feeling is common, assures Marin, but also cautions against self-condemnation. Mark Shrayber, Health.com, "Why Do People Cheat? A Sex Therapist Has Some Fascinating Insight," 24 Oct. 2019 Canada’s system is not without flaws, cautions Gordon Speirs, a former Canadian dairy farmer who now milks about 2,100 cows in Brillion, Wisconsin. jsonline.com, "Robotic milking in Canada, struggling farmers in Mexico: How Wisconsin’s trading partners are weathering the dairy crisis," 18 Oct. 2019 A few of my favorites (Note: these ingredients came from the cocktail list at the opening, and I was cautioned that there might be a few adjustments as the team plays with the recipes): (Courtesy of SOCIAL) You Wanna Pisco Me? Paul Hodgins, Daily Pilot, "Adult Beverages: SOCIAL’s new Huntington Beach spot is a cocktail paradise," 25 Sep. 2019 Experts also caution that such a break must be viewed in the context of the findings of a full autopsy to draw a conclusion about a cause of death. al, "Some Jeffrey Epstein prison camera footage is unusable," 27 Aug. 2019 There isn’t one solution to this very big problem, and Kirp cautions against top-down fixes. James P. Sutton, National Review, "Fixing the College-Dropout Problem," 9 Aug. 2019 The reports of the local forest officers who inspected the site for the project cautioned that flora and fauna of the area will be adversely affected if the exploration takes place. Mayank Aggarwal, Quartz India, "Tigers in a southern reserve are victims of India’s aggressive push towards nuclear energy," 15 July 2019 Bales, the Supreme Court justice, acknowledged the uptick but cautioned against immediately assuming the increase resulted from the expansion. Maria Polletta, azcentral, "By adding justices to the Arizona Supreme Court, did Ducey help the state — or help himself?," 8 July 2019 Forecasters cautioned those on Bermuda to keep close eye on Humberto, although the core of the storm is expected to pass north of the island. Leigh Morgan, al, "Hurricane Humberto 2019: Bermuda now in the path as Humberto gets stronger," 16 Sep. 2019

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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Statistics for caution

Last Updated

16 Nov 2019

Time Traveler for caution

The first known use of caution was in 1566

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More Definitions for caution

caution

noun
How to pronounce caution (audio)

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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