Dictionary.com
definitions
  • synonyms

circumspect

[sur-kuh m-spekt]
See more synonyms for circumspect on Thesaurus.com
adjective
  1. watchful and discreet; cautious; prudent: circumspect behavior.
  2. well-considered: circumspect ambition.
Show More

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
Related formscir·cum·spect·ly, adverbcir·cum·spect·ness, nounnon·cir·cum·spect, adjectivenon·cir·cum·spect·ly, adverbnon·cir·cum·spect·ness, nouno·ver·cir·cum·spect, adjectiveun·cir·cum·spect, adjectiveun·cir·cum·spect·ly, adverbun·cir·cum·spect·ness, noun

Synonyms

See more synonyms for circumspect on Thesaurus.com
1. careful, vigilant, guarded.

Antonyms

1. careless, indiscreet.
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

Examples from the Web for circumspect

Contemporary Examples

Historical Examples

  • One must be so circumspect—so much upon one's guard with all the world.

  • Even the most wary, circumspect, and suspicious, might thus be overcome.

    Imogen

    William Godwin

  • But she was dutiful to him, and he was circumspect in his behaviour before her.

    Captain Blood

    Rafael Sabatini

  • And yet it may be repeated that Lieutenant Russell was the most guarded and circumspect of men.

  • There never was a man who did such rash things in so circumspect a manner.

    Lord George Bentinck

    Benjamin Disraeli


British Dictionary definitions for circumspect

circumspect

adjective
  1. cautious, prudent, or discreet
Show More
Derived Formscircumspection, nouncircumspective, adjectivecircumspectly, adverb

Word Origin

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

adj.

early 15c., from Latin circumspectus "deliberate, guarded, well-considered," past participle of circumspicere "look around, take heed," from circum- "around" (see circum-) + specere "to look" (see scope (n.1)). Related: Circumspectly; circumspectness.

Show More
Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper