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 poultry giant stated the recall is voluntary and out of caution. Casey Smith, Indianapolis Star, "Tyson Foods recalls over 190,000 pounds of chicken fritters sold to restaurants, schools," 8 June 2019 One word of caution, though: The secret to mastering the secret menu items at Starbucks is in the ordering. Kate Friedman, Glamour, "Starbucks' Secret Menu Is Real: The 41 Best Things to Order," 30 Mar. 2019 Elderly people and pregnant women should also take extra caution, Gantt says. Carolyn L. Todd, SELF, "The Dangerous Health Risks That Could Follow the California Wildfires," 16 Nov. 2018 Yellow caution tape was set up around the cobblestone circle where the birds had hunkered down. Brigit Katz, Smithsonian, "A Nesting Bird Nearly Derailed a Canadian Music Festival," 28 June 2018 The foil packets will be very hot; take caution when opening and releasing the steam. Maya Wilson, Anchorage Daily News, "Thrown on a grill or campfire, pineapple teriyaki chicken in foil packs are a snap," 1 June 2018 Yet in other ways, Kavanaugh’s nomination signals the end of caution by reinforcing the Court’s unrelenting rightward shift—quite a feat, since the current Court is one of the most conservative in the nation’s history. Martha F. Davis, Fortune, "Why Brett Kavanaugh Is a Huge Threat to Minority Rights," 10 July 2018 So these products should definitely be used sparingly—once every week or every few weeks is enough—and with caution. Sarah Jacoby, SELF, "Can Any Skin-Care Products Actually 'Detox' Your Face?," 3 May 2019 Warning: There are major spoilers ahead, so proceed with caution. Caroline Picard, Good Housekeeping, "Season 4 of 'The Good Place' Sounds Like It Will Be the Most Righteous One Yet," 3 May 2019

Recent Examples on the Web: Verb

The captains on both shows caution them not to do this at the start of each season. Washington Post, "Here’s to the class-conflicted, workplace-inappropriate ‘Below Deck’ — TV’s ideal mental vacation," 13 June 2019 Federal regulators and industry leaders cautioned that numbers alone tell only part of the story, since many foreclosures result from the natural end of reverse mortgages: the homeowner’s death. USA Today, "Seniors were sold a risk-free retirement with reverse mortgages. Now they face foreclosure.," 12 June 2019 But referee Stephanie Frappart, who next season becomes the first woman to officiate fulltime in the French top flight, did not caution her. Fox News, "Argentina earns first Women's World Cup point with 0-0 Japan draw," 11 June 2019 Zune cautioned them that opportunities to make money from adoptions had not completely dried up after they were banned. Rachel Nolan, Harper's magazine, "Destined for Export," 10 June 2019 But critics caution that the project, which began in 2013,stokes corruption, harms the environment, creates financial dependencies and extends Chinese military power. Jonathan Hillman, Twin Cities, "Jonathan Hillman: Five myths about China’s Belt and Road Initiative," 3 June 2019 Foster cautioned that the VA would still need to follow the legal process and act on evidence. Isaac Arnsdorf, ProPublica, "Trump’s VA Firing Spree Falters in Court," 15 May 2019 His parents cautioned him about sharing too much on Facebook after the election, worried that his own visa prospects could be harmed. Stacy Teicher Khadaroo, The Christian Science Monitor, "International students to US: Do you really want us?," 2 July 2018 Analysts caution that last year’s freight market set an unusually high bar for growth in 2019. Jennifer Smith, WSJ, "Freight Market Shifts into Lower Gear," 24 May 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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Dictionary Entries near caution

cauterize

cautery

cautio

caution

cautioner

cautiones

caution money

Statistics for caution

Last Updated

15 Jun 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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