cautious

adjective
cau·​tious | \ ˈkȯ-shəs How to pronounce cautious (audio) \

Definition of cautious

: careful about avoiding danger or risk cautious investors cautious optimism

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Other Words from cautious

cautiously adverb
cautiousness noun

Choose the Right Synonym for cautious

cautious, circumspect, wary, chary mean prudently watchful and discreet in the face of danger or risk. cautious implies the exercise of forethought usually prompted by fear of danger. a cautious driver circumspect suggests less fear and stresses the surveying of all possible consequences before acting or deciding. circumspect in his business dealings wary emphasizes suspiciousness and alertness in watching for danger and cunning in escaping it. keeps a wary eye on the competition chary implies a cautious reluctance to give, act, or speak freely. chary of signing papers without having read them first

Examples of cautious in a Sentence

Any cautious tourist will guard her passport. You cannot be overly cautious when you're driving in snow. He answered the question with a cautious reply.
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Recent Examples on the Web This strategy is likely in keeping with Biden's cautious approach to constructing his government, said Michael Gerhardt, a law professor at the University of North Carolina. Nicholas Rowan, Washington Examiner, "Merrick Garland move to Justice will give Biden new pick for influential DC appeals court," 8 Jan. 2021 Garland didn’t participate in the morning shootaround at Amway Center and the Cavs will continue to take a cautious approach with injuries, especially early in the season. Chris Fedor, cleveland, "Darius Garland, Isaac Okoro won’t play for Cleveland Cavaliers Monday night in Orlando," 4 Jan. 2021 People in China see Ant as a major beneficiary of the authorities’ cautious approach toward regulating internet finance. Raymond Zhong, New York Times, "With Alibaba Investigation, China Gets Tougher on Tech," 23 Dec. 2020 Initially, Cantrell's cautious approach to reopening the city, which was slower than in the rest of the state, helped hold the city’s infection rates down. Jeff Adelson, NOLA.com, "Despite mayor's threats, New Orleans police haven't issued any coronavirus tickets recently," 15 Dec. 2020 In 1993, Turkey sealed its border with Armenia in support for Azerbaijan, but took a more cautious approach, such as focusing on joint energy projects, to deepen its relations with Baku without provoking Moscow. David Gauthier-villars, WSJ, "An Assertive Turkey Muscles Into Russia’s Backyard," 11 Dec. 2020 And, despite a far more cautious approach, the risks are still considerable, as two deaths during a trial occurred just this year. John Timmer, Ars Technica, "A promising start to new human gene-editing trials," 9 Dec. 2020 Travelers like Art Mayoff are also taking a cautious approach. Washington Post, "How will the covid-19 vaccines affect your travel?," 9 Dec. 2020 In recent days Carlise and Mavericks president Donnie Nelson said the team was taking a cautious approach to Porzingis’ return. Brad Townsend, Dallas News, "Back by Christmas? Kristaps Porzingis believes he can be ready, but should Mavericks fans?," 3 Dec. 2020

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'cautious.' 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 cautious

1614, in the meaning defined above

History and Etymology for cautious

see caution entry 1

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Time Traveler for cautious

Time Traveler

The first known use of cautious was in 1614

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Statistics for cautious

Last Updated

16 Jan 2021

Cite this Entry

“Cautious.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/cautious. Accessed 18 Jan. 2021.

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More Definitions for cautious

cautious

adjective
How to pronounce cautious (audio)

English Language Learners Definition of cautious

: careful about avoiding danger or risk

cautious

adjective
cau·​tious | \ ˈkȯ-shəs How to pronounce cautious (audio) \

Kids Definition of cautious

: showing or using care to avoid trouble or danger

Other Words from cautious

cautiously adverb

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Comments on cautious

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