- watchful and discreet; cautious; prudent: circumspect behavior.
- well-considered: circumspect ambition.
Origin of circumspect
1375–1425; late Middle English < Latin circumspectus (past participle of circumspicere to look around), equivalent to circum- circum- + spec(ere) to look + -tus past participle suffix
SynonymsSee more synonyms for circumspect on Thesaurus.com
1. careful, vigilant, guarded.
1. careless, indiscreet.
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018
Examples from the Web for circumspect
Some of the Americans joining ISIS are less than circumspect, especially online.How Many Americans in ISIS? No One Knows
September 5, 2014
(LOC 1011-1015) One more adjective could be added to Summer's list: circumspect.David's Bookclub: The New New Deal
December 1, 2012
The president alluded to that authority when he spoke about the killing, indicating his awareness of a need to be circumspect.Black America’s Heartbreaking Burdens
March 28, 2012
But his subsequent actions will remain case by case and circumspect.Israel: No Peace in Sight
Leslie H. Gelb
May 16, 2011
The poet remains coolly detached: a circumspect observer in the face of cataclysm.Catastrophe in Verse
April 21, 2011
One must be so circumspect—so much upon one's guard with all the world.Tales And Novels, Volume 5 (of 10)
Even the most wary, circumspect, and suspicious, might thus be overcome.Imogen
But she was dutiful to him, and he was circumspect in his behaviour before her.Captain Blood
And yet it may be repeated that Lieutenant Russell was the most guarded and circumspect of men.A Waif of the Mountains
Edward S. Ellis
There never was a man who did such rash things in so circumspect a manner.Lord George Bentinck
- cautious, prudent, or discreet
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
Word Origin and History for circumspect
Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper