prudent was our Word of the Day on 05/19/2015. Hear the podcast!
Examples of prudent in a sentence
An endless war is not always the most moral or the most prudent course of action. —Richard A. Posner, New Republic, 2 Sept. 2002
We missed the Mass for St. Rose of Lima, who, though prudent, had failed to be martyred and was therefore only second-string. —Darryl Pinckney, High Cotton, 1992
Prudent burners take several precautions. Burning one of two bordering fields, they wet the edge of one or the other, usually the one being burned, to prevent the flames from jumping. —Alec Wilkinson, Big Sugar, 1989
Since the inexplicable power of a magnetized needle to “find” the north smacked of black magic … . For many decades the prudent sea captain consulted his compass secretly. —Daniel J. Boorstin, The Discoverers, 1983
He always listened to her prudent advice.
You made a prudent choice.
Did You Know?
Prudent arrived in Middle English around the 14th century and traces back, by way of Middle French, to the Latin verb providēre, meaning "to see ahead, foresee, provide (for). "Providēre" combines pro-, meaning "before, and vidēre, meaning "to see, and it may look familiar to you; it is also the source of our "provide," "provident," "provision," and "improvise." "Vidēre" also has many English offspring, including "evident," "supervise," "video," and "vision."
Origin and Etymology of prudent
Middle English, from Medieval French, from Latin prudent-, prudens, contraction of provident-, providens — more at provident
First Known Use: 14th century
Synonym Discussion of prudent
PRUDENT Defined for English Language Learners
Definition of prudent for English Language Learners
: having or showing careful good judgment
PRUDENT Defined for Kids
Definition of prudent for Students
: wise and careful in action or judgment
Legal Definition of prudent
: characterized by, arising from, or showing prudence
Seen and Heard
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