pre·​cau·​tion | \ pri-ˈkȯ-shən How to pronounce precaution (audio) \

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 How to pronounce precautionary (audio) \ 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

Anyone with asthma or other lung sensitivities, including adolescents with still-developing lungs should take extra precaution. Beth Bragg, Anchorage Daily News, "Will they or won’t they? Mount Marathon top contenders grapple with smoky situation," 3 July 2019 After the break Brazil took extra precautions by substituting winger Everton for midfielder Willian. Mauricio Savarese,, "Brazil without Neymar beats Argentina with Messi in Copa America semifinal," 3 July 2019 Children 5 and younger, people with weakened immune systems and those 65 and older are most vulnerable to the germs animals carry, and should take extra precautions at animal exhibits, the CDC advises. Sonja Haller, USA TODAY, "New data shows petting zoos crawl with superbugs, potentially putting more kids at risk," 2 July 2019 Federal public health officials are urging people to take precautions to protect themselves against a microscopic parasite that can live for days in swimming pools and water playgrounds and cause severe intestinal problems., "Crypto: Health authorities warn against microscopic parasite that lives in pools, water parks," 1 July 2019 Take precautions by limiting time outside, staying hydrated and taking frequent breaks, meteorologists advise., "New Orleans metro under heat advisory on 1st day of summer," 21 June 2019 Take extra precautions to stay cool in shady areas and look out for those most vulnerable to heat. Tom Skilling,, "Excessive heat, record highs expected Sunday," 16 June 2018 The Tennessee commit rolled an ankle early in the day and was kept out as a precaution. Ben Thomas |,, "Spencer Arceneaux, McGill-Toolen hold off Spanish Fort for Foley 7-on-7 title," 28 June 2019 Health officials urged people to take precautions against mosquito bites, including wearing long-sleeve shirts and pants to cover exposed skin. Jesse Garza, Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, "Milwaukee mosquitoes test positive for West Nile virus," 27 June 2019

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

17 Jul 2019

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 How to pronounce precaution (audio) \

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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an act or instance of editing or removing

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