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[sur-kuh m-spek-shuh n] /ˌsɜr kəmˈspɛk ʃən/
circumspect observation or action; caution; prudence:
He approached with circumspection.
Origin of circumspection
1350-1400; Middle English < Latin circumspectiōn- (stem of circumspectiō), equivalent to circumspect(us) circumspect + -iōn- -ion
Related forms
overcircumspection, noun Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2017.
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Examples from the Web for circumspection
Contemporary Examples
Historical Examples
  • This ought also to be done with great experience, delicacy, practical knowledge and circumspection.

    Piano and Song Friedrich Wieck
  • They were excited by the modesty, the circumspection, and the virtue of Imogen.

    Imogen William Godwin
  • Also, even in the most favoured and flying of the grass countries, many fences require unusual steadiness and circumspection.

    Riding Recollections, 5th ed. G. J. Whyte-Melville
  • The best thing he can do is to ‘git,’ deliberately and with circumspection.

  • For this reason it is necessary to burn them very carefully and to select the clays with circumspection.

    The Natural History of Clay Alfred B. Searle
  • What care and circumspection must have gone to the writing and the launching of the note!

    The Woman from Outside Hulbert Footner
  • Satisfied now that he had a ticklish matter to handle, he prepared for it, with his usual enthusiasm and circumspection.

    The Woman in the Alcove Anna Katharine Green
Word Origin and History for circumspection

late 14c., "careful observation of one's surroundings," from Old French circumspection (Modern French circonspection), from Latin circumspectionem (nominative circumspectio) "a looking around; foresight, caution," noun of action from past participle stem of circumspicere "to look around" (see circumspect).

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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