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

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 Doing so will also help students make prudent decisions around higher education and career ambitions. Sameer Maskey, Forbes, 2 Sep. 2021 Whatever your thoughts on the relative human and natural influences on climate change, ignoring our military is not prudent. James Conca, Forbes, 1 Nov. 2021 The discussions set off some farcical wrangling among his children, but the job goes to Gerri, which seems like as prudent a decision as any, with the side effect of taking Gerri’s kinky relationship with Roman to a new level. Scott Tobias, Vulture, 17 Oct. 2021 Manger said putting up temporary fencing around the Capitol and calling in reinforcements was a prudent decision. BostonGlobe.com, 29 Sep. 2021 Manger said putting up temporary fencing around the Capitol and calling in reinforcements was a prudent decision. Michael Balsamo And Colleen Long, USA TODAY, 29 Sep. 2021 Mathieu was cleared the day before the Chiefs beat the Browns 33-29 at Arrowhead Stadium, and coach Andy Reid made the prudent decision to hold him out after missing nearly two weeks of practice. Tim Bielik, cleveland, 19 Sep. 2021 Time will tell whether this was a prudent decision. Richard Lehmann, Forbes, 5 Sep. 2021 The time is ripe to make a prudent decision or enter into an agreement that will be fulfilled as promised. Tribune Content Agency, oregonlive, 23 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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Time Traveler for prudent

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

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Last Updated

20 Nov 2021

Cite this Entry

“Prudent.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/prudent. Accessed 27 Nov. 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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