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
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 for circumspect

Antonyms for circumspect Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

Examples from the Web for circumspectly

Historical Examples of circumspectly

  • "If The Dutchan wins you get the money," replied the Trainer, circumspectly.


    W. A. Fraser

  • Akh, Sergyi Petrvitch, when I think of it, how circumspectly we women must behave!

    A Nobleman's Nest

    Ivan Turgenieff

  • Thus with seamen: he who goes the oftenest round Cape Horn goes the most circumspectly.

  • He started off circumspectly and noiselessly, listening and peering at every step.

    The War in the Air

    Herbert George Wells

  • Then he turned on his light, circumspectly, directing its rays to the ground at his feet.

British Dictionary definitions for circumspectly



cautious, prudent, or discreet
Derived Formscircumspection, 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

Word Origin and History for circumspectly



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.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper