- alertness and prudence in a hazardous situation; care; wariness: Landslides ahead—proceed with caution.
- a warning against danger or evil; anything serving as a warning: By way of caution, he told me the difficulties I would face.
- Informal. a person or thing that astonishes or causes mild apprehension: She's a caution. The way he challenges your remarks is a caution.
- to give warning to; advise or urge to take heed.
- to warn or advise: The newspapers caution against overoptimism.
Origin of caution
SynonymsSee more synonyms for caution on Thesaurus.com
Examples from the Web for caution
Good news, in an epidemic as unpredictable as this one, must be met with caution.
While the caution that the fragility of this situation calls for cannot be overstated, neither can the successes made thus far.
There was “some note of caution” attached to hiring Knox, thanks to the negativity from the case, Robinson said.Amanda Knox, Cub Reporter: The Convicted Murderer Is Now Writing Theater Reviews for a Small Seattle Paper
November 4, 2014
Medical authorities of the day often acted less out of an “abundance of caution” than with a general callousness to humanity.Disease History Vs. Disease Hysteria
October 19, 2014
Distasteful those ads might be, but restrictions on political speech should be exercised with great deliberation and caution.Is Big Money Politics an Overblown Evil?
August 2, 2014
"Don't come this way," she called back, in quick, low tones of caution.The Spenders
Harry Leon Wilson
On the fourth and fifth days, however, he had the reward for his caution.
At least, they would go with caution down his trail after that first check.
And there is one thing that I have to remember to caution Donald about.Her Father's Daughter
John remembered his mother's caution that he was not to let his Uncle talk much.The Foolish Lovers
St. John G. Ervine
- care, forethought, or prudence, esp in the face of danger; wariness
- something intended or serving as a warning; admonition
- law, mainly British a formal warning given to a person suspected or accused of an offence that his words will be taken down and may be used in evidence
- a notice entered on the register of title to land that prevents a proprietor from disposing of his or her land without a notice to the person who entered the caution
- informal an amusing or surprising person or thingshe's a real caution
- (tr) to urge or warn (a person) to be careful
- (tr) law, mainly British to give a caution to (a person)
- (intr) to warn, urge, or advisehe cautioned against optimism
Word Origin and History for caution
c.1300, "bail, guarantee, pledge," from Old French caution "security, surety" (13c.), from Latin cautionem (nominative cautio) "caution, care, foresight, precaution," noun of action from past participle stem of cavere "to be on one's guard" (see caveat). The Latin sense re-emerged in English 16c.-17c. Meaning "word of warning" is from c.1600.
"to warn," 1640s, from caution (n.). Related: Cautioned; cautioning.
Idioms and Phrases with caution
see throw caution to the winds.