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

Others, like Sacramento, simply threw caution to the wind in paying top dollar for George Hill and Zach Randolph. Rob Mahoney, SI.com, "NBA Free Agency: The Thought Behind the One-Year Deal Trend," 12 July 2018 Spurs doctors in San Antonio saw the images and — out of an abundance of caution — recommended further testing for a possible fracture. Jeff Mcdonald, San Antonio Express-News, "Metu’s misfortune means missed opportunity for Spurs’ second-rounder," 12 July 2018 That willingness to throw caution to the wind and quit, go, and risk much is fading from our society. Lyman Stone, Vox, "The myth of the job-hopping, rootless millennial is just that — a myth," 11 July 2018 Coaches throwing caution to the wind and piling men forwards in an attempt to clinch victory without leaving chance in the hands of the penalty takers. Martin Rogers, USA TODAY, "Extra time is lame. Let's just skip straight to penalties at the World Cup," 8 July 2018 The National Park Service decided to evacuate more than 4,000 visitors from Liberty Island on Wednesday out of an abundance of caution, spokesman Jerry Willis said. Washington Post, "Statue of Liberty climber unrepentant; Trump calls her clown," 7 July 2018 But proceed with a bit of caution after Thursday, July 26, when Mercury goes retrograde in your own sign. Aliza Kelly Faragher, Allure, "What July's Leo Horoscope Means for You," 29 June 2018 There’s a rumor from Android Police that says the company is throwing caution to the wind and putting five cameras on its new phone, a device that will surely succeed where last year’s V30’s (and its V35 variant’s) paltry three cameras did not. Chaim Gartenberg, The Verge, "LG says screw everything, we’re doing five cameras for the V40," 26 June 2018 Every World Cup tends to produce a few specific teams who throw caution to the wind and play a free-flowing, attacking game. Hayden Bird, BostonGlobe.com, "An American’s guide to picking a team to root for in the World Cup," 14 June 2018

Recent Examples on the Web: Verb

Rau cautions that his enthusiasm isn't an endorsement, especially given that Threadripper 2's actual performance remains to be seen. Brian Barrett, WIRED, "It's Time to Get Excited About the Future of PCs. (Yes, PCs)," 8 June 2018 Transportation Commissioners Alando Simpson and Sean O’Halloran cautioned that no pricing plan would be cheap or be a magic congestion pill. Andrew Theen, OregonLive.com, "$300 million a year from I-5, I-205 tolls? New details on tolling options," 14 May 2018 But some cautioned that there is still concern about a Trump slump. Beth J. Harpaz, The Christian Science Monitor, "Data showing 'Trump slump' in tourism may not be accurate," 11 Apr. 2018 Indeed, whereas those around the prime minister may be unashamedly pro-business and pro-migration, Mrs May herself is wary of both, cautions one MP. The Economist, "A quiet revolution in Theresa May’s cabinet," 12 July 2018 Police are cautioned not to test suspected drugs in the field. Terry Demio, Cincinnati.com, "Overdoses surging in Hamilton County, public health issues alert," 11 July 2018 The review of the records has limitations and isn’t enough to establish a direct cause and effect, Getahun cautioned. Avichai Scher /, NBC News, "Study finds health risks for transgender women on hormone therapy," 9 July 2018 The earlier the better—Soko Glam cautions that favorites are selling out fast. Rachel Nussbaum, Glamour, "The Best 4th of July 2018 Beauty Sales Worth Shopping," 3 July 2018 In March, Land Court Judge Michael Vhay said the T could work on the tracks, but cautioned that any MBTA construction would be at risk. Adam Vaccaro, BostonGlobe.com, "How a South Boston real estate fight could delay new MBTA Red Line cars," 2 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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Learn More about caution

Dictionary Entries near caution

cauterize

cautery

cautio

caution

cautioner

cautiones

caution money

Phrases Related to caution

throw/fling/cast caution to the wind

Statistics for caution

Last Updated

21 Sep 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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occurring twice a year or every two years

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