pru·​dence | \ ˈprü-dᵊn(t)s How to pronounce prudence (audio) \

Essential Meaning of prudence

: careful good judgment that allows someone to avoid danger or risks act with ordinary/reasonable prudence He always exercises prudence with his finances.

Full Definition of prudence

1 : the ability to govern and discipline oneself by the use of reason
2 : sagacity or shrewdness in the management of affairs
3 : skill and good judgment in the use of resources
4 : caution or circumspection as to danger or risk

Examples of prudence in a Sentence

He always exercises prudence with his finances. advised to use some old-fashioned prudence when agreeing to meet face-to-face with an online acquaintance
Recent Examples on the Web Vermont's treasury is flush with money, a testament both to the governor's fiscal prudence—the state was running a surplus before the pandemic—and to the influence of its congressional delegation in Washington. Chris Cillizza, CNN, 15 Nov. 2021 In discussion, the board raised questions about the amount of funding the county would contribute to the project and the prudence of taking any kind of action as aspects of a development agreement between the city and the A’s remain unresolved. Sarah Ravani, San Francisco Chronicle, 26 Oct. 2021 At this point in the process, the questions are no longer about compromise, what Manchin and Sinema need to support the bill or abstract concerns about fiscal prudence. Lincoln Mitchell, CNN, 1 Oct. 2021 Sadly, America turned out to be a place that values fear over honesty, self-importance over humanity, vengeance over prudence, loudness over listening. Washington Post, 10 Sep. 2021 The trustee’s fiduciary duties include a duty of loyalty and a duty of prudence. Matthew Erskine, Forbes, 31 Aug. 2021 Sunday, March 15 Worship leaders concerned about the coronavirus face a dilemma: how to offer a message of optimism and a sense of community at a time when prudence dictates separation and caution. Chris Foran, Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, 12 Aug. 2021 Personal prudence is fine, and people can calibrate their own risk tolerance. The Editorial Board, WSJ, 19 July 2021 These maneuvers were not done out of principle or financial prudence but represented a naked exercise in political gamesmanship. Alex Shephard, The New Republic, 10 Aug. 2021

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'prudence.' 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 prudence

14th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1

History and Etymology for prudence

Middle English, from Anglo-French, from Latin prudentia, alteration of providentia — more at providence

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

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Last Updated

19 Nov 2021

Cite this Entry

“Prudence.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 26 Nov. 2021.

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More Definitions for prudence


pru·​dence | \ ˈprü-dᵊns How to pronounce prudence (audio) \

Kids Definition of prudence

: careful good judgment that allows someone to avoid danger or risks


pru·​dence | \ ˈprüd-ᵊns How to pronounce prudence (audio) \

Legal Definition of prudence

: attentiveness to possible hazard : caution or circumspection as to danger or risk a person of ordinary prudence

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Britannica English: Translation of prudence for Arabic Speakers


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