Thesaurus

careful

adjective

Synonyms & Antonyms of careful

See the Dictionary Definition 

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

Keep scrolling for more

Learn More about careful

Time Traveler for careful

Time Traveler

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

See more words from the same century

Statistics for careful

Last Updated

28 May 2020

Cite this Entry

“Careful.” Merriam-Webster.com Thesaurus, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/thesaurus/careful. Accessed 6 Jul. 2020.

Keep scrolling for more

More from Merriam-Webster on careful

Dictionary: Definition of careful

Spanish Central: Translation of careful

Nglish: Translation of careful for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of careful for Arabic Speakers

Comments on careful

What made you want to look up careful? Please tell us where you read or heard it (including the quote, if possible).

WORD OF THE DAY

See Definitions and Examples »

Get Word of the Day daily email!

Test Your Vocabulary

A More Exception(al) Quiz

  • hot dog  hot dog  hot dog  hot dog cat
  • Which of the following words is not a synonym for ‘a young person’?
Spell It

Can you spell these 10 commonly misspelled words?

TAKE THE QUIZ
Add Diction

Test Your Knowledge - and learn some interesting things along the way.

TAKE THE QUIZ
Love words? Need even more definitions?

Subscribe to America's largest dictionary and get thousands more definitions and advanced search—ad free!