- a measure taken in advance to avert possible evil or to secure good results.
- caution employed beforehand; prudent foresight.
- to forewarn; put on guard.
Origin of precaution
SynonymsSee more synonyms on Thesaurus.com
Examples from the Web for precaution
As a precaution against a possible disturbance, the ferry was escorted by a police boat, its blue lights flashing.‘I Can’t Breathe!’ ‘I Can’t Breathe!’ A Moral Indictment of Cop Culture
December 4, 2014
The jacket and gloves were a precaution in the event the eaglet panicked, but there was little fuss as he tossed the net over her.He Faces Jail for Rescuing Baby Eagles
November 2, 2014
As a precaution, they have been placed on a 21-day fever watch.CDC Calls Ebola Outbreak ‘Forest Fire’
July 28, 2014
But, the precaution falls flat on the upper floors of thin-walled barracks.Dodging Rockets in Afghanistan as the Taliban’s Fighting Season Begins
May 14, 2014
These are mainly a precaution against random violence, like the shootings in Washington last week.The Return of Terror: Lessons of the Nairobi Shopping-Mall Siege
September 22, 2013
(b) What precaution should be taken in the use of flavorings?Woman's Institute Library of Cookery, Vol. 3
Woman's Institute of Domestic Arts and Sciences
Only she ought to have told him of the precaution she had taken.The Secret Agent
This was a precaution we always took, on account of the craft's being so tender.Ned Myers
James Fenimore Cooper
Where the forbidden thing is, no precaution can be too great.It Happened in Egypt
C. N. Williamson
Just by way of precaution, however, I'll ask you to wait in here till I'm off.The Black Bag
Louis Joseph Vance
- an action taken to avoid a dangerous or undesirable event
- caution practised beforehand; circumspection
Word Origin and History for precaution
c.1600, from French précaution (16c.) and directly from Late Latin praecautionem (nominative praecautio) "a safeguarding," from past participle stem of Latin praecavere "to guard against beforehand," from prae "before" (see pre-) + cavere "to be one's own guard" (see caution (n.)). The verb meaning "to warn (someone) in advance" is from c.1700.