over·​caut·​ious ˌō-vər-ˈkȯ-shəs How to pronounce overcautious (audio)
: too cautious : overcareful
an overcautious driver
Some vigilance is advisable, but there is a risk in parents being overcautious.Peter McGuire
overcautiously adverb
investing overcautiously

Examples of overcautious in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web And yet, since the spring of 2021, pundits have mocked people who continue to think this way for being irrational and overcautious, and government officials have consistently framed COVID as a matter of personal responsibility. Ed Yong, The Atlantic, 30 Sep. 2022 Or, at least, overcautious, overwatchful young men and women. Han Ong, The New Yorker, 9 Jan. 2023 Be overcautious and a perfectly clear day goes to waste; be too bold and put the performers, audience and equipment at risk. Abby Carney, New York Times, 4 Aug. 2021 Some parents said the new rules were overcautious and counterproductive. Howard Blume, Los Angeles Times, 12 July 2021 But Fauci has turned into the perpetually pessimistic, overcautious, position-shifting, administration-pleasing face of the pandemic recovery. The Editors, National Review, 13 Apr. 2021 The risk of a dangerous vaccine reaction could be very real, if also very rare—and major European vaccine authorities have not, in fact, been overcautious, political, or innumerate in responding to this possibility. Hilda Bastian, The Atlantic, 30 Mar. 2021 See More

These examples are programmatically compiled from various online sources to illustrate current usage of the word 'overcautious.' Any opinions expressed in the examples do not represent those of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback about these examples.

Word History

First Known Use

1653, in the meaning defined above

Time Traveler
The first known use of overcautious was in 1653

Dictionary Entries Near overcautious

Cite this Entry

“Overcautious.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/overcautious. Accessed 5 Dec. 2023.

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