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[kaw-shuh s] /ˈkɔ ʃəs/
showing, using, or characterized by caution:
a cautious man; To be cautious is often to show wisdom.
Origin of cautious
First recorded in 1630-40; cauti(on) + -ous
Related forms
cautiously, adverb
cautiousness, noun
hypercautious, adjective
hypercautiously, adverb
hypercautiousness, noun
supercautious, adjective
ultracautious, adjective
ultracautiously, adverb
ultracautiousness, noun
uncautious, adjective
uncautiously, adverb
uncautiousness, noun
prudent, guarded, wary, chary, circumspect, watchful, vigilant.
Synonym Study
See careful. Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018.
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Examples from the Web for cautiousness
Contemporary Examples
Historical Examples
  • cautiousness too is foreign to them—the heavy reasonable cautiousness which is our glory.

    Chance Joseph Conrad
  • "cautiousness," slow and sure, would speak in a gentle adagio.

  • They all moved slowly and heavily with a strange sort of cautiousness.


    Maksim Gorky
  • There was no timidity in him, even if his cautiousness was excessive.

    The Roll-Call Arnold Bennett
  • cautiousness—In the Hindoos, large; in Bellingham, moderate.

  • All the cautiousness of the Scotchman the Dutchman has, but not the enterprise and industry.

  • This man generally has cautiousness and Continuity well developed, and Hope deficient.

    The Psychology of Salesmanship

    William Walker Atkinson
  • At every stage our watchfulness and cautiousness increased, and also the tension of our nerves.

  • With an oath, the man commanded him to speak, but daddy rode calmly on; his indignation got the better of his cautiousness.

    Little Wolf M. A. Cornelius
British Dictionary definitions for cautiousness


showing or having caution; wary; prudent
Derived Forms
cautiously, adverb
cautiousness, noun
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition
© William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012
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Word Origin and History for cautiousness



1640s, from caution + -ous. The Latin word for this was cautus "careful, heedful." Related: Cautiously; cautiousness.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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