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 Doctors caught it early and had managed it into remission, but Carol and her husband, Don, were extremely cautious about socializing amid the pandemic. Star Tribune, "A duty to mend regret and heartbreak," 7 Feb. 2021 Steele is cautious about speculating upon the cost of Undine’s full ensemble, but noted that the dressmaker’s bill might have been near the bottom of Abner’s hefty expenses. New York Times, "Undine Spragg’s Life in Objects," 26 Jan. 2021 Of course, proving a negative is always hard, and scientists are often cautious about declaring species truly lost. John R. Platt, Scientific American, "What We've Lost: The Species Declared Extinct in 2020," 13 Jan. 2021 The drop in credit card use was an indication consumers remain cautious about spending amid a spike in coronavirus cases in recent weeks. Martin Crutsinger, ajc, "US consumer credit up 4.4% in November, best in 5 months," 8 Jan. 2021 The curfew is targeted at high-risk behaviors that can spread COVID-19 -- such as people who are drinking and may become too impaired to be cautious about maintaining six feet of distance or wearing their masks. cleveland, "Gov. Mike DeWine to hospitals, others sitting on coronavirus vaccines: ‘There’s a moral imperative to get this out just as quickly as we can.’," 30 Dec. 2020 The Barometer has identified trends in public and business reactions to the virus, and the latest survey confirmed that both remain cautious about the spread. Paul Bedard, Washington Examiner, "Six-in-10 OK with businesses banning unvaccinated from entering," 29 Dec. 2020 Levine and Coder were cautious about their assessment of the outlook for such festivals. al, "Vacation event Moon Crush built to bring the music despite COVID," 15 Dec. 2020 Traditionally, high-end brands have been cautious about selling online. Carol Ryan, WSJ, "To Sell Luxury Online, Deep Pockets Matter More Than Ever," 11 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

21 Feb 2021

Cite this Entry

“Cautious.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/cautious. Accessed 28 Feb. 2021.

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More Definitions for cautious

cautious

adjective

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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