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[prood-nt] /ˈprud nt/
wise or judicious in practical affairs; sagacious; discreet or circumspect; sober.
careful in providing for the future; provident:
a prudent decision.
Origin of prudent
1350-1400; Middle English < Latin prūdent- (stem of prūdēns), contraction of prōvidēns provident
Related forms
prudently, adverb
nonprudent, adjective
nonprudently, adverb
preprudent, adjective
preprudently, adverb
superprudent, adjective
unprudent, adjective
unprudently, adverb
Can be confused
prudent, prudential.
1. sensible. 2. economical, thrifty, frugal. Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018.
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Examples from the Web for prudently
Contemporary Examples
Historical Examples
  • And so to-night I am going to spend them, not prudently on bread, but prodigally on beer.

    Ballads of a Bohemian Robert W. Service
  • I steamed past prudently, then stopped the engines and let her drift down.

    Heart of Darkness Joseph Conrad
  • None of his companions needed to be told how to get prudently away.

    Nan of Music Mountain Frank H. Spearman
  • Men she had vanquished; they had given her a sort of ton which she had prudently managed.

    Tancred Benjamin Disraeli
  • He no longer drank cautiously, prudently, but imprudently and recklessly.

    Uncle Tom's Cabin Harriet Beecher Stowe
British Dictionary definitions for prudently


discreet or cautious in managing one's activities; circumspect
practical and careful in providing for the future
exercising good judgment or common sense
Derived Forms
prudently, adverb
Word Origin
C14: from Latin prūdēns far-sighted, contraction of prōvidens acting with foresight; see provident
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 prudently



late 14c., from Old French prudent "with knowledge, deliberate" (c.1300), from Latin prudentem (nominative prudens) "knowing, skilled, sagacious, circumspect;" rarely in literal sense "foreseeing;" contraction of providens, present participle of providere "to foresee" (see provide). Related: Prudently.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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