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

Cite this Entry

“Careful.” Merriam-Webster.com Thesaurus, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/thesaurus/careful. Accessed 15 Jun. 2021.

Style: MLA
MLACheck Mark Icon ChicagoCheck Mark Icon APACheck Mark Icon Merriam-WebsterCheck Mark Icon

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

WORD OF THE DAY

Test Your Vocabulary

Name that Thing: Dog Breeds

Name That Thing

Test your visual vocabulary with our 10-question challenge!

TAKE THE QUIZ
Universal Daily Crossword

A daily challenge for crossword fanatics.

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!