caveat

noun
ca·​ve·​at | \ ˈka-vē-ˌät How to pronounce caveat (audio) , -ˌat, ˈkä-vē-ˌät How to pronounce caveat (audio) ; ˈkā-vē-ˌat \

Definition of caveat

1a : a warning enjoining one from certain acts or practices a caveat against unfair practices
b : an explanation to prevent misinterpretation
c : 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.
2 : a legal warning to a judicial officer to suspend a proceeding until the opposition has a hearing

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, meaning "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.

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 on the Web To underscore that caveat, Placentia’s things catalog includes the price of each entry. Roy Rivenburg, The Christian Science Monitor, 3 Aug. 2022 One caveat for investors: Over the 6 portfolios that Jeffries tracks, only 2 were ahead of the S&P 500 this July. Lucy Brewster, Fortune, 31 July 2022 The main caveat in the Miller test, however, is that the works have to be taken as a whole, not just small excerpts. Chris Ullery, USA TODAY, 28 July 2022 One caveat: the oven depth was a little shy of fitting our favorite cookie sheets. Nicole Papantoniou, Good Housekeeping, 26 July 2022 That caveat potentially gives police a lot of discretion over who can record and when. Ashley Belanger, Ars Technica, 8 July 2022 The caveat still applies: Cruz played sparingly the next two seasons and was designated for assignment by the Rangers in 2008; he could have been claimed by any team in the majors. Jr Radcliffe, Journal Sentinel, 19 July 2022 The bill would give potentially millions of middle income taxpayers a one-time stimulus check of $250 or $500 for joint filers, but only for those who reported at least $38,000 in 2021 income, a caveat that has drawn scrutiny. Globe Staff, BostonGlobe.com, 14 July 2022 The caveat blocking sales to Amazon was disclosed in a securities filing on Wednesday. Fortune, 13 July 2022 See More

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.

First Known Use of caveat

1533, in the meaning defined at sense 1a

History and Etymology for caveat

Latin, let him beware, from cavēre — more at hear

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Dictionary Entries Near caveat

cave art

caveat

caveat emptor

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Statistics for caveat

Last Updated

7 Aug 2022

Cite this Entry

“Caveat.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/caveat. Accessed 9 Aug. 2022.

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More Definitions for caveat

caveat

noun
ca·​ve·​at | \ ˈka-vē-ˌät, -ˌat; ˈkä-vē-ˌät, ˈkā-vē-ˌat How to pronounce caveat (audio) \

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

Other Words from caveat

caveat verb

History and Etymology for caveat

Latin, may he/she beware

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