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

Therefore the only prudent thing to do is to cancel all future shows. Maria Puente, USA TODAY, "Huey Lewis says he's lost most of his hearing: 'I can't hear music well enough to sing'," 13 Apr. 2018 But that's not prudent in the dry Mediterranean summer, when fires are an annual threat and long grasses fuel flames. Cain Burdeau, Fox News, "An ancient way to cut grass, scything's also a state of mind," 19 June 2018 Such prudent measures would take work and would require governing to be put ahead of political expediency. New York Times, "New York Has Given Away the Keys to More Than a Prius," 15 May 2018 But the emotional and immediate temptation isn't always the more prudent political one. Aaron Blake, Washington Post, "Democrats’s nuclear-option gamble is coming up snake-eyes," 29 June 2018 The Ethics Commission says $10,000 is a more prudent threshold than $50,000, because donations of less than $50,000 can have a significant effect on a local election. David Garrick, sandiegouniontribune.com, "San Diego requiring greater transparency on campaign ad donors," 16 May 2018 Naturally, the experience left her feeling considerably more prudent about her lipstick. Jamie Beckman, Allure, "Backstage Beauty Secrets From the Cast and Crew of Hamilton and Sleep No More," 13 Aug. 2018 Borrowing for higher education seems prudent, but then borrowing for a home was a no-brainer, too, until a decade ago. WSJ, "Corrections & Amplifications," 11 Sep. 2018 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

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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4 May 2019

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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 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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More from Merriam-Webster on prudent

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with prudent

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for prudent

Spanish Central: Translation of prudent

Nglish: Translation of prudent for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of prudent for Arabic Speakers

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