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

Nauset Beach in Orleans was closed to swimmers Monday, and the National Weather Service is advising beachgoers to exercise caution due to a high risk of rip currents along sections of the coast, officials said. Maria Lovato, BostonGlobe.com, "Swimmers on Cape Cod and Islands and Cape Ann in Gloucester face high risk of rip currents," 26 Aug. 2019 Four houses on the street were evacuated as a precaution and people within a 500-meter (-yard) radius were advised to exercise caution, leaving their doors and windows closed. Washington Post, "Flour trail and evacuations: German city seeks escaped cobra," 26 Aug. 2019 The company encourages buyers and sellers to exercise caution when dealing with unfamiliar parties or doing business in unfamiliar locations. al, "Mobile police encourage safe zones for online deals," 19 Aug. 2019 The department also issued a travel advisory urging U.S. citizens to exercise caution when visiting Hong Kong. Fox News, "Chinese diplomat warns Beijing ‘will not sit on its hands’; military runs drills near Hong Kong border," 15 Aug. 2019 Venezuela's Foreign Ministry office also issued a warning to its residents Monday, saying Venezuelans should postpone their travels or exercise caution when traveling as a result of the events in El Paso, Texas and Dayton, Ohio. Htv National Desk, Houston Chronicle, "2 countries issued travel warnings about the US after a weekend of mass shootings," 6 Aug. 2019 Those traveling on motorcycles and bicycles should exercise caution or choose another route. oregonlive.com, "Portland metro Monday traffic: Night paving slows traffic on East Mill Plain Blvd.," 29 July 2019 Advertising Pedestrians should exercise caution around trains, Sound Transit spokesperson Scott Thompson said, and be aware that there are two or more sets of tracks along the Sounder corridor from Everett to Lakewood. Katherine Khashimova Long, The Seattle Times, "Man killed by Sounder train in Kent," 25 July 2019 All of the signals and bells were working properly, said VTA spokeswoman Brandi Childress, urging people to exercise caution and heed the signals. Emily Deruy, The Mercury News, "Man injured in VTA light rail collision near San Jose’s Diridon Station," 19 July 2019

Recent Examples on the Web: Verb

Nadler cautions, however, that the study can’t disprove any theories about testosterone’s impact on the developing brain. Emily Underwood, Science | AAAS, "Study challenges idea that autism is caused by an overly masculine brain," 3 Sep. 2019 As much as those Tesla thefts draw attention, given the cars' novelty and high price tags, the insecurity of keyless entry systems isn't limited to Tesla, Wouters cautions. Andy Greenberg, WIRED, "Hackers Could Steal a Tesla Model S by Cloning Its Key Fob—Again," 27 Aug. 2019 The weather service cautions people to be aware of high fire danger conditions. Saja Hindi, The Denver Post, "Denver weather: High fire danger due to hot, dry, windy weather," 25 Aug. 2019 For that reason, the department always cautions against eating the meat from a deer that doesn’t appear to be healthy. Sarah Ladd, The Courier-Journal, "Hemorrhagic disease found in Kentucky deer and numbers are expected to keep growing," 22 Aug. 2019 The company that conducted the study cautions that it shouldn’t be interpreted as a list of the best places to live or work. Cnn.com Wire Service, The Mercury News, "The most overworked cities in the US might surprise you," 11 Aug. 2019 In particular, Goldstein cautions the public about the risks of using unauthorized stem cell therapies. San Diego Union-Tribune, "Biotech notebook: Public service on stem cell science," 6 July 2019 But Lisa Alter of Alter, Kendrick & Baron cautions that while stand-alone music assets may trade at a 15 times EBITDA multiple or higher, companies tend to trade at somewhat lower multiples than a single music catalog. Ed Christman, Billboard, "What Is Big Machine Actually Worth In Its Pending Nine-Figure Acquisition By Ithaca Holdings?," 3 July 2019 But translating existing ecological and evolutionary theory to this new microbial world is more easily said than done, cautions Britt Koskella, a biologist at the University of California, Berkeley. Quanta Magazine, "Should Evolution Treat Our Microbes as Part of Us?," 20 Nov. 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

7 Sep 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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