View synonyms for precautionary


[ pri-kaw-shuh-ner-ee ]


  1. of, relating to, or characterized by precaution:

    precautionary measures.

  2. expressing or advising precaution:

    precautionary warnings against possible tornadoes.

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Word History and Origins

Origin of precautionary1

First recorded in 1740–50; precaution + -ary
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Example Sentences

The government has claimed these are “precautionary measures” to avoid another such outburst.

From Quartz

This means that for now, it’s important to keep wearing masks, socially distancing, and taking other precautionary measures even if you have been vaccinated.

“We ask them to quarantine as a precautionary measure,” she said.

Kimba is in a 30-day quarantine for precautionary reasons, according to the statement.

Near the front was Allegra Jabo, who said she was saving a spot for her husband and two daughters for precautionary Thanksgiving tests.

A precautionary move aimed at perfecting how much more the Banzi will need to take in order to reach an optimal high.

As a precautionary measure, the Danish security services immediately notified Rose.

Many of the precautionary actions that we need to take would be sensible in any event.

A statement from the Palace insisted the hospitalization - at a private London hospital - was 'precautionary'.

Over the last few weeks, every Arab dictator has been taking precautionary measures to defuse social tension.

Some, however, were picked off from the warships when the insurgents omitted their precautionary measure.

But their boat leaked like a sieve, and the stop at Milwaukee was probably precautionary.

As he was leaving to attend to his part of the play, a precautionary idea flashed upon Maggie.

As a precautionary measure, therefore, a line of defences was rapidly thrown up between the city and cantonments.

She could think of nothing but precautionary measures, and on one occasion was describing to Rogers all that she had done.


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More About Precautionary

What does precautionary mean?

Precautionary is used to describe actions taken in advance to prevent something negative from happening or to lessen the impact of the negative thing if it does happen.

Such actions are called precautions. This sense of precautionary is most commonly seen in the phrase precautionary measures, which is essentially a synonym for precautions.

Precaution can also be used as a verb meaning to warn, and precautionary can also mean expressing a warning, as in Police have posted a precautionary message advising all residents to stay indoors due to the chemical spill. 

Example: Officials said they have taken several precautionary measures to secure the city in advance of the storm.

Where does precautionary come from?

Precautionary is one of the adjective forms of the noun precaution (another is precautious, meaning “being careful by actively preparing to avoid something negative”). The first records of the word precaution come from around 1600. Precaution combines the prefix pre, meaning “before,” with the noun caution (alertness or care in what could be a bad situation).

Precautionary is used to describe action taken before something actually happens. A person using caution is being careful, especially in general or during a dangerous situation. A person taking precautionary measures has anticipated something negative and is doing something to prepare so that it doesn’t happen or that it won’t be quite as bad if it does. A person boarding up windows before a hurricane hits is taking precautionary measures (or precautions).

What’s the difference between precautionary and cautionary? Cautionary always refers to things that express a warning, especially one that is general, as in cautionary tale or cautionary advice. Precautionary, on the other hand, usually relates to preparation for something specific.

Precautionary appears in the name of the precautionary principle, which states that an action should not be taken if the consequences are uncertain and potentially dangerous.

Did you know ... ?

What are some other forms related to precautionary

What are some words that share a root or word element with precautionary

What are some words that often get used in discussing precautionary?

What are some words precautionary may be commonly confused with?

How is precautionary used in real life?

Precautionary is most often used in the context of serious situations that involve real danger.



Try using precautionary!

Which of the following examples is MOST likely to be considered precautionary?

A. Stepping carefully across a rickety bridge.
B. Putting on a life jacket before going on a boat.
C. Charging wildly into battle without a plan.




precautionprecautionary principle