pre·cau·tion | \pri-ˈkȯ-shən \

Definition of precaution 

1 : care taken in advance : foresight warned of the need for precaution

2 : a measure taken beforehand to prevent harm or secure good : safeguard take the necessary precautions

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Other Words from precaution

precautionary \pri-ˈkȯ-shə-ˌner-ē \ adjective

Examples of precaution in a Sentence

Be sure to follow the usual safety precautions when cooking outdoors. When driving, she always wears her seatbelt as a precaution. Every home owner should take precautions against fire. She took the precaution of packing extra medicine for the trip.
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Recent Examples on the Web

Despite all those precautions, the yeast caused a 50-person outbreak that lasted more than a year. Maryn Mckenna, WIRED, "The Strange and Curious Case of the Deadly Superbug Yeast," 13 July 2018 Residents should take precautions during any mosquito season, Noack noted, but preventative measures are particularly important this season with the high number of mosquitoes that have tested positive for West Nile. Patricia Dillon, Houston Chronicle, "Montgomery County officials find 38 cases of mosquitoes with West Nile Virus; urge taking precautions," 6 July 2018 All these precautions help koalas get the most bang for the bite of food, which is important because eucalyptus leaves are not very high in calories. Elizabeth Pennisi, Science | AAAS, "A koala’s diet would kill most mammals. Their genome reveals how they survive," 2 July 2018 In the meantime, Rothman recommends taking these precautions before putting your child in any high chair: Do a visual check. Lindsey Murray, Good Housekeeping, "New High Chair Safety Standards Are Coming — Here's Everything You Need to Know," 21 June 2018 National forests and parks in Arizona and New Mexico have already been shut down as precautions. Colleen Slevin, The Christian Science Monitor, "To avert potential wildfires, officials across Southwest close national forests," 12 June 2018 If the entire connection drops, despite these precautions, the system is designed to safely stop the vehicle and engage emergency flashers. Kirsten Korosec, Fortune, "Why Self-Driving Car Companies Are Eyeing This Remote Driving Startup," 12 June 2018 Take the following precautions every time to avoid becoming a victim: 1. Kayla Keegan, Good Housekeeping, "'Good Morning America' Host Lara Spencer Warns Fans of Popular Scam Using Her Name," 10 July 2018 Speaking to The Washington Post, Thai SEAL commander Apakorn Yookongkaew said that divers would take more precautions with the boys to prevent injuries or fatalities. Shibani Mahtani, Washington Post, "Retired Thai navy SEAL dies while working to rescue soccer team in cave," 6 July 2018

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'precaution.' 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 precaution

1599, in the meaning defined at sense 1

History and Etymology for precaution

French précaution, from Late Latin praecaution-, praecautio, from Latin praecavēre to guard against, from prae- + cavēre to be on one's guard — more at hear

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Statistics for precaution

Last Updated

9 Oct 2018

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for precaution

The first known use of precaution was in 1599

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More Definitions for precaution



English Language Learners Definition of precaution

: something that is done to prevent possible harm or trouble from happening in the future


pre·cau·tion | \pri-ˈkȯ-shən \

Kids Definition of precaution

: something done beforehand to prevent harm or trouble or bring about good results You should take precautions against fire.

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Comments on precaution

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lying above or upon

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