[ pri-kaw-shuhn ]
/ prɪˈkɔ ʃən /


a measure taken in advance to avert possible evil or to secure good results.
caution employed beforehand; prudent foresight.

verb (used with object)

to forewarn; put on guard.

Origin of precaution

First recorded in 1595–1605, precaution is from the Late Latin word praecautiōn- (stem of praecautiō). See pre-, caution

Related forms

un·pre·cau·tioned, adjective Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

Examples from the Web for precaution

British Dictionary definitions for precaution


/ (prɪˈkɔːʃən) /


an action taken to avoid a dangerous or undesirable event
caution practised beforehand; circumspection

Derived Forms

precautionary or precautional, adjectiveprecautious, adjective

Word Origin for precaution

C17: from French, from Late Latin praecautiō, from Latin praecavēre to guard against, from prae before + 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