pru·​dence ˈprü-dᵊn(t)s How to pronounce prudence (audio)
: the ability to govern and discipline oneself by the use of reason
: sagacity or shrewdness in the management of affairs
: skill and good judgment in the use of resources
: caution or circumspection as to danger or risk

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 On Tuesday, the day before Cruise’s recall, Uber’s current CEO, Dara Khosrowshahi, became an unlikely cheerleader for prudence in an interview on CNBC. WIRED, 9 Nov. 2023 Minors may struggle to comprehend the gravity of these ramifications, and prudence dictates a cautious approach. WSJ, 31 Oct. 2023 For many companies and economic sectors, prudence will dictate that humans cannot be entirely written out of the script, at least not any time soon. James Manyika and Michael Spence, Foreign Affairs, 24 Oct. 2023 By embracing this evolving landscape with knowledge and prudence, individuals can take a step towards nurturing their mental well-being, harnessing the therapeutic potential of CBD oil in the pursuit of a more balanced and tranquil life. Amber Smith, Discover Magazine, 23 Oct. 2023 Yet, given the current knowledge gap, researchers are advised to proceed with caution and prudence when working with BPC-157. BPC-157 Dosage Calculator and Chart Researchers should note that limited clinical research is available from which to draw dosing recommendations for BPC-157. The Salt Lake Tribune, 16 Aug. 2023 Unlike many of her counterparts, Haun—through prudence or luck—didn’t put any of her investors’ money into the fraud-of-the-decade, FTX. Byjeff John Roberts, Fortune Crypto, 3 Aug. 2023 Much of this is simple prudence, reflecting standard aspects of war in the nuclear age. Gideon Rose, Foreign Affairs, 13 June 2023 In today’s complex private aviation sector, what sets EAG apart is its commitment to fiscal prudence and stability. Robb Report Studio, Robb Report, 28 Aug. 2023 See More

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

Word History


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

First Known Use

14th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1

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

Dictionary Entries Near prudence

Cite this Entry

“Prudence.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 1 Dec. 2023.

Kids Definition


pru·​dence ˈprüd-ᵊn(t)s How to pronounce prudence (audio)
: the ability to govern and discipline oneself by the use of reason
: skill and good judgment in the management of affairs

Legal Definition


pru·​dence ˈprüd-ᵊns How to pronounce prudence (audio)
: attentiveness to possible hazard : caution or circumspection as to danger or risk
a person of ordinary prudence

More from Merriam-Webster on prudence

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