pru·​dence | \ ˈprü-dᵊn(t)s How to pronounce prudence (audio) \

Definition of prudence

1 : the ability to govern and discipline oneself by the use of reason
2 : sagacity or shrewdness in the management of affairs
3 : skill and good judgment in the use of resources
4 : caution or circumspection as to danger or risk

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Examples of prudence in a Sentence

He always exercises prudence with his finances. advised to use some old-fashioned prudence when agreeing to meet face-to-face with an online acquaintance

Recent Examples on the Web

The seat of Syrian commerce and enterprise, Aleppo has long been considered a city brimming with pragmatism and prudence. Brian Stewart, National Review, "For Sama: A Chronicle of the Syrian Tragedy," 10 Aug. 2019 But Trump has thrown prudence and discretion in dealing with the Fed to the winds. Edward Lotterman, Twin Cities, "Edward Lotterman: Hooray for complexity in the Federal Reserve’s structure," 3 Aug. 2019 Mr Urzúa, a social democrat, was a voice of prudence in the cabinet of the populist leftist president. The Economist, "Politics this week," 13 July 2019 The bird may not be an allegory of goodness, or mercy, love or prudence, but owls are wise, and this one has its eyes open. Philip Kennicott, Washington Post, "What perpetual war looks like in America," 4 Aug. 2019 The government’s record on fiscal prudence, too, is patchy. Vk Vijayakumar, Quartz India, "A fragile economy leaves Nirmala Sitharaman with little room to dole out goodies," 1 July 2019 And that could come down to the prudence of carrying 14 players through the season (not counting the eventual two two-way players). Ira Winderman,, "ASK IRA: Has NBA erred with its offseason timing?," 21 July 2019 In May, three City Council members were ousted in the Republican primary by challengers who among other issues cited the need for greater government transparency and financial prudence. Kaitlin Lange, Indianapolis Star, "Westfield mayor pushed for Grand Junction Plaza project. His two sons profited from the deal.," 11 July 2019 Fiscal prudence Free of election-year compulsions, the budget did not have any major schemes like the Pradhan Mantri Kisan Samman Nidhi announced in the interim budget in February. Pramod Mathew, Quartz India, "In a quest to remain fiscally prudent, India’s budget stuck to the minimum," 6 July 2019

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

14th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1

History and Etymology for prudence

Middle English, from Anglo-French, from Latin prudentia, alteration of providentia — more at providence

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Statistics for prudence

Last Updated

6 Sep 2019

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Time Traveler for prudence

The first known use of prudence was in the 14th century

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More Definitions for prudence



English Language Learners Definition of prudence

: careful good judgment that allows someone to avoid danger or risks


pru·​dence | \ ˈprü-dᵊns How to pronounce prudence (audio) \

Kids Definition of prudence

: careful good judgment that allows someone to avoid danger or risks


pru·​dence | \ ˈprüd-ᵊns How to pronounce prudence (audio) \

Legal Definition of prudence

: attentiveness to possible hazard : caution or circumspection as to danger or risk a person of ordinary prudence

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More from Merriam-Webster on prudence

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for prudence

Spanish Central: Translation of prudence

Nglish: Translation of prudence for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of prudence for Arabic Speakers

Comments on prudence

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