Definition of caveat
1a : a warning enjoining one from certain acts or practices a caveat against unfair practicesb : an explanation to prevent misinterpretationc : a modifying or cautionary detail to be considered when evaluating, interpreting, or doing something The driving instructor gave his students this caveat: if you are driving under the speed limit, stay in the far right lane.
caveat was our Word of the Day on 09/16/2013. Hear the podcast!
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Examples of caveat in a Sentence
Sound great? There's just one caveat: Knowledge about how genes work is still in the scientific Stone Age. —Andrea Knox, Chicago Tribune, 4 Aug. 2000
We'll add a caveat of our own for parents: After your kids walk through 17,500 gal. of swirling water, they're not going to be satisfied running through the lawn sprinkler. —Jim Wilson, Popular Mechanics, July 1999
But the youthquake in the new economy comes with a caveat that also may begin applying to politics. If you're inexperienced and you want a big job, you'd better be smart as hell. —Jonathan Alter, Newsweek, 22 Nov. 1999
… a cluster bomb can destroy objects over a wider area, with the important caveat that it is effective only if the bomblets have sufficient destructive power on their own. —Norman Friedman, Desert Victory, 1991
His investment advice comes with a caveat: that the stock market is impossible to predict with absolute accuracy.
Recent Examples of caveat from the Web
But the article caveat nevertheless drew criticism.
The council eventually approved the transfer request, but only after intense lobbying from Superintendent Barbara Canavan and other school leaders, and with a caveat that the council receive copies of all invoices from purchases with the funds.
For blacks, the American dream—defined as upward mobility and a better life than our parents’ generation—has a caveat: Don’t outshine, outearn or outperform whites.
However, the White House glossed over one major caveat laid out by the Court, which could turn into a political and legal headache for the administration.
For two years, a regular-shmegular black woman was adored for being shamelessly herself without caveats or compromises.
Monday, Harris said that the commission began seeking and taking applications for such works in March and April, with the caveat that the city might not approve the plan, so that any art, if approved, could be in place this year.
As my colleague Sy Mukherjee points out, much of the alarmist signaling stems from legitimate research that’s been stripped of all context, caveats, and confounding factors in order to form a clicky online headline.
But the motion to put the measure on the ’18 ballot with the possible earlier election caveat was made by councilman Scott Sherman, a SoccerCity proponent.
These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'caveat'. Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.
Did You Know?
You may be familiar with the old saying "caveat emptor," nowadays loosely translated as "let the buyer beware." In the 16th century, this adage was imparted as a safeguard for the seller: allow the buyer to examine the item (for example, a horse) before the sale is completed, so the seller can't be blamed if the item turns out to be unsatisfactory. "Caveat" in Latin means let him beware and comes from the verb "cavēre" ("to be on guard"). Perhaps you've also heard "caveat lector": "let the reader beware," a warning to take what one reads with a grain of salt. English retained "caveat" itself as a noun for something that serves to warn, explain, or caution. (The word caution is another descendant of "cavēre.")
CAVEAT Defined for English Language Learners
Definition of caveat for English Language Learners
: an explanation or warning that should be remembered when you are doing or thinking about something
Legal Definition of caveat
1a : a warning enjoining one from certain acts or practices b : an explanation to prevent a misinterpretation
2 : a notice to a court or judicial officer to suspend a proceeding until the opposition can be heard a caveat entered in the probate court to stop the proving of the will
Origin and Etymology of caveat
Latin, may he/she beware
Seen and Heard
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