Synonyms & Antonyms of careful

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Frequently Asked Questions About careful

How is the word careful different from other adjectives like it?

Some common synonyms of careful are meticulous, punctilious, and scrupulous. While all these words mean "showing close attention to detail," careful implies attentiveness and cautiousness in avoiding mistakes.

a careful worker

When can meticulous be used instead of careful?

Although the words meticulous and careful have much in common, meticulous may imply either commendable extreme carefulness or a hampering finicky caution over small points.

meticulous scholarship

When could punctilious be used to replace careful?

The words punctilious and careful are synonyms, but do differ in nuance. Specifically, punctilious implies minute, even excessive attention to fine points.

punctilious observance of ritual

In what contexts can scrupulous take the place of careful?

While in some cases nearly identical to careful, scrupulous applies to what is proper or fitting or ethical.

scrupulous honesty

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Time Traveler for careful

Time Traveler

The first known use of careful was before the 12th century

See more words from the same century

Cite this Entry

“Careful.” Thesaurus, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 15 Jun. 2021.

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More from Merriam-Webster on careful

Dictionary: Definition of careful

Nglish: Translation of careful for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of careful for Arabic Speakers


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