precaution

[ pri-kaw-shuhn ]
/ prɪˈkɔ ʃən /

noun

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.

Nearby words

  1. precarity,
  2. precartilage,
  3. precast,
  4. precative,
  5. precatory,
  6. precautionary,
  7. precautionary principle,
  8. precautious,
  9. precava,
  10. precede

Origin of precaution

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

Related formsun·pre·cau·tioned, adjective

Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

Examples from the Web for precaution


British Dictionary definitions for precaution

precaution

/ (prɪˈkɔːʃən) /

noun

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

Word Origin and History for precaution

precaution

n.

c.1600, from French précaution (16c.) and directly from Late Latin praecautionem (nominative praecautio) "a safeguarding," from past participle stem of Latin praecavere "to guard against beforehand," from prae "before" (see pre-) + cavere "to be one's own guard" (see caution (n.)). The verb meaning "to warn (someone) in advance" is from c.1700.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper