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

Definition of cautious

: careful about avoiding danger or risk cautious investors cautious optimism

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.
Recent Examples on the Web But as one senior British official put it to me, her directness has its benefits, bearing a forcefulness that allows governments to bypass ever-cautious officials. Tom Mctague, The Atlantic, 9 May 2022 Nation/World Bill and Rudi Weissinger remain COVID-cautious. Joel Achenbach And Carolyn Y. Johnson, Anchorage Daily News, 20 Apr. 2022 If your mom loves to eat but is COVID-cautious and not quite ready to dine indoors, take her to Smorgasburg L.A., the largest weekly outdoor food market in the country, located behind Row DTLA. Los Angeles Times, 18 Apr. 2022 And be ever-cautious of deer and other wild animals, plus slippery wet leaves in autumn. Christopher Baker, Travel + Leisure, 2 Apr. 2022 The Hirshhorn’s 2017 show brought teeming crowds and hours-long, winding lines that would unnerve almost anyone in a pandemic-cautious world. Washington Post, 31 Mar. 2022 Franchises from Star Trek to Animorphs have had a good-and-evil-twin story, where one version is aggressive, hasty, and confident while the other is cautious, timid, and calculating. Eric Ravenscraft, Wired, 17 Mar. 2022 So forgive Cowboys fans for their unfamiliarity with the now ever-cautious approach the club embraces ahead of free agency kickoff. Jori Epstein, USA TODAY, 12 Mar. 2022 The once-cautious businessman enthusiastically supports the Ukrainian army. Ariel Cohen, Forbes, 7 Mar. 2022 See More

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.

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

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The first known use of cautious was in 1614

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Last Updated

28 May 2022

Cite this Entry

“Cautious.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 29 May. 2022.

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More Definitions for cautious


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

More from Merriam-Webster on cautious

Nglish: Translation of cautious for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of cautious for Arabic Speakers


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