[ kaw-shuhn ]
/ ˈkɔ ʃən /


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.

verb (used with object)

to give warning to; advise or urge to take heed.

verb (used without object)

to warn or advise: The newspapers caution against overoptimism.

Nearby words

  1. causticly,
  2. cauterant,
  3. cauterization,
  4. cauterize,
  5. cautery,
  6. caution money,
  7. cautionary,
  8. cautious,
  9. cautiously,
  10. cauvery

Origin of caution

1250–1300; Middle English caucion < Latin cautiōn- (stem of cautiō) a taking care, equivalent to caut(us), past participle of cavēre to guard against (cau- take care, guard + -tus past participle suffix) + -iōn- -ion

Related forms

Synonym study

4. See warn. Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

Examples from the Web for cautioned

British Dictionary definitions for cautioned


/ (ˈkɔːʃən) /



Derived Formscautioner, noun

Word Origin for caution

C13: from Old French, from Latin cautiō, from cavēre to beware

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

Word Origin and History for cautioned
Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper

Idioms and Phrases with cautioned


see throw caution to the winds.

The American Heritage® Idioms Dictionary Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company.