[ sur-kuhm-spekt ]
/ ˈsɜr kəmˌspɛkt /
Save This Word!
See synonyms for: circumspect / circumspectly on Thesaurus.com


watchful and discreet; cautious; prudent: circumspect behavior.
well-considered: circumspect ambition.



Were you ready for a quiz on this topic? Well, here it is! See how well you can differentiate between the uses of "was" vs. "were" in this quiz.
Question 1 of 7
“Was” is used for the indicative past tense of “to be,” and “were” is only used for the subjunctive past tense.

Meet Grammar Coach

Write or paste your essay, email, or story into Grammar Coach and get grammar helpImprove Your Writing

Meet Grammar Coach

Improve Your Writing
Write or paste your essay, email, or story into Grammar Coach and get grammar help

Origin of circumspect

First recorded in 1375–1425; late Middle English, from Latin circumspectus (past participle of circumspicere “to look around”), equivalent to circum- “around, about” (see circum-) + spec(ere) “to look” + -tus past participle suffix

OTHER WORDS FROM circumspect

Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2021

Example sentences from the Web for circumspect

British Dictionary definitions for circumspect

/ (ˈsɜːkəmˌspɛkt) /


cautious, prudent, or discreet

Derived forms of circumspect

circumspection, nouncircumspective, adjectivecircumspectly, adverb

Word Origin for circumspect

C15: from Latin circumspectus, from circum- + specere to look
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