prudent

adjective
pru·​dent | \ ˈprü-dᵊnt How to pronounce prudent (audio) \

Definition of prudent

: characterized by, arising from, or showing prudence: such as
a : marked by wisdom or judiciousness prudent advice
b : shrewd in the management of practical affairs prudent investors
c : marked by circumspection : discreet

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Other Words from prudent

prudently adverb

Choose the Right Synonym for prudent

wise, sage, sapient, judicious, prudent, sensible, sane mean having or showing sound judgment. wise suggests great understanding of people and of situations and unusual discernment and judgment in dealing with them. wise beyond his tender years sage suggests wide experience, great learning, and wisdom. the sage advice of my father sapient suggests great sagacity and discernment. the sapient musings of an old philosopher judicious stresses a capacity for reaching wise decisions or just conclusions. judicious parents using kindness and discipline in equal measure prudent suggests the exercise of restraint guided by sound practical wisdom and discretion. a prudent decision to wait out the storm sensible applies to action guided and restrained by good sense and rationality. a sensible woman who was not fooled by flattery sane stresses mental soundness, rationality, and levelheadedness. remained sane even in times of crises

It Is Prudent to Read Up on This Word History

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."

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.
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Recent Examples on the Web Experts widely agree that playing it safe in the coming weeks is prudent. James Hamblin, The Atlantic, "The Evolution of the Coronavirus," 15 Jan. 2021 Others were less sure if a Gross run for city executive would be prudent. Danny Mcdonald, BostonGlobe.com, "Boston police commissioner Gross seriously considering mayoral run, sources say," 10 Jan. 2021 What should happen in the future is a complicated question of what is efficient, what is prudent and what is fair. Michael Taylor, ExpressNews.com, "Taylor: The unfinished business of Fannie and Freddie," 5 Jan. 2021 And after a rash of former Orioles ended up pitching in Korea and Japan last year — a move that with the stability of guaranteed jobs and full salaries proved to be prudent in 2020 — many of them are domestic. Jon Meoli, baltimoresun.com, "Checking in on where former Orioles are landing in free agency," 22 Dec. 2020 Political Knowers like Jeff Greenfield wondered aloud if the morally prudent move for Biden included a temporary suspension of his campaign. Nick Martin, The New Republic, "You Don’t Have to Pray for Trump," 2 Oct. 2020 Releasing the video of Sole's suicide might have been a prudent move to tamp down inaccurate rumors, yet rioting still broke out Wednesday, leaving dozens of businesses damaged and many looted. Editorial Board Star Tribune, Star Tribune, "A better response to rioting in Minneapolis," 29 Aug. 2020 Pascrell is just one member of Congress, and Pelosi is much too politically prudent to follow his lead. Damon Linker, TheWeek, "How we get to civil war," 14 Dec. 2020 Republicans in Washington are still predominantly Reagan conservatives who are foreign policy hawks and fiscally prudent. David M. Drucker, Washington Examiner, "Josh Hawley carves niche in 2024 GOP field by demanding COVID-19 stimulus payments," 9 Dec. 2020

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

14th century, in the meaning defined above

History and Etymology for prudent

Middle English, from Middle French, from Latin prudent-, prudens, contraction of provident-, providens — more at provident

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Time Traveler for prudent

Time Traveler

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

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Last Updated

24 Jan 2021

Cite this Entry

“Prudent.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/prudent. Accessed 27 Jan. 2021.

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More Definitions for prudent

prudent

adjective
How to pronounce prudent (audio)

English Language Learners Definition of prudent

: having or showing careful good judgment

prudent

adjective
pru·​dent | \ ˈprü-dᵊnt How to pronounce prudent (audio) \

Kids Definition of prudent

: wise and careful in action or judgment

Other Words from prudent

prudently adverb

prudent

adjective
pru·​dent | \ ˈprüd-ᵊnt How to pronounce prudent (audio) \

Legal Definition of prudent

: characterized by, arising from, or showing prudence

Other Words from prudent

prudently adverb

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Comments on prudent

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