prudent

adjective
pru·​dent | \ ˈprü-dᵊnt How to pronounce prudent (audio) \

Essential Meaning of prudent

: having or showing careful good judgment He always listened to her prudent advice. You made a prudent choice/decision. She's a prudent investor.

Full 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 Yet the Sox have been prudent in bringing Sale back gradually, for moments like this. BostonGlobe.com, 7 Oct. 2021 Planting them wouldn’t have been prudent if the society hadn’t encircled the property with a sturdy fence, installed large cattle grates at the entrances and ushered out every last deer. Washington Post, 6 Oct. 2021 The legal department has been slow to evolve in comparison to other business units because of C-suite priorities and in part because lawyers are trained to follow precedent, to be prudent and to avoid risk. Nicholas Hinton, Forbes, 14 Sep. 2021 With the looming fear of a possible third wave, India’s priority on domestic vaccinations appears to be prudent. Manavi Kapur, Quartz, 13 Sep. 2021 Turning the apparent bipartisan support in Congress into more concrete policy as soon as possible would also be prudent. Stuart Anderson, Forbes, 2 Sep. 2021 Truumees said the use of a monoclonal antibody treatment is prudent, given Abbott’s condition. Hojun Choi, Dallas News, 18 Aug. 2021 If your driveway or parking slab is pretty dark at night, installation of floodlights may be prudent. Chaya Milchtein, Better Homes & Gardens, 23 July 2021 But that wouldn’t have been prudent, because the Post has a union. Timothy Noah, The New Republic, 21 July 2021

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

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Last Updated

15 Oct 2021

Cite this Entry

“Prudent.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/prudent. Accessed 20 Oct. 2021.

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More Definitions for prudent

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

More from Merriam-Webster on prudent

Nglish: Translation of prudent for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of prudent for Arabic Speakers

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