prudent

adjective
pru·dent | \ˈprü-dᵊnt \

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

d : provident, frugal

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Other Words from prudent

prudently adverb

Synonyms & Antonyms for prudent

Synonyms

discerning, insightful, perceptive, sagacious, sage, sapient, wise

Antonyms

unperceptive, unwise

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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

Concerns about more prudent spending plans by customers have coupled with production worries in the Permian Basin to keep investors largely on the sidelines. Bloomberg.com, "Mario Draghi Answers Questions at ECB News Conference," 26 Apr. 2018 This is the wise and prudent course for any baseball fan. Jon Tayler, SI.com, "Forget the Sample Size, Shohei Ohtani Already Looks Like One of Baseball's Best Players," 8 Apr. 2018 Whether in the United States or even the Soviet Union, their proper ethic was realistic, conservative and prudent, more wary of going to war than their reckless or crusading civilian masters. Gary J. Bass, New York Times, "Should We Worry About Trump’s Fawning Admiration of the Military?," 29 June 2018 Be patient and prudent and use a quality pole spear and Zookeeper Lionfish Containment Unit, and you won’t get stung. Mark Rogers, USA TODAY, "Lionfish in the Caribbean: Destructive menace, delicious dinner," 3 July 2018 Bibens-Dirkx can be optioned, and that would be the more prudent move for the starter-thin Rangers. Jeff Wilson, star-telegram, "Rangers Reaction: How Gallardo could be pitching himself into Rangers' plans for 2019," 29 June 2018 But Justice Kennedy is a very prudent and discreet man. Fox News, "Leonard Leo on replacement options for Justice Kennedy," 28 June 2018 Targeting an experienced, versatile wing like Devon Hall or Kenrich Williams at their spot could be prudent. Jeremy Woo, SI.com, "2018 NBA Draft: Needs for All 30 Teams," 15 June 2018 But that wouldn’t exactly make for a prudent use of congressional power. Gilbert Garcia, San Antonio Express-News, "Impeachment talk carries more risk than reward for Dems," 28 Apr. 2018

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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Last Updated

21 Sep 2018

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for prudent

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

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More Definitions for prudent

prudent

adjective

English Language Learners Definition of prudent

: having or showing careful good judgment

prudent

adjective
pru·dent | \ˈprü-dᵊnt \

Kids Definition of prudent

: wise and careful in action or judgment

Other Words from prudent

prudently adverb

prudent

adjective
pru·dent | \ˈprüd-ᵊnt \

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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