wise or judicious in practical affairs; sagacious; discreet or circumspect; sober.
careful in providing for the future; provident: a prudent decision.

Origin of prudent

1350–1400; Middle English < Latin prūdent- (stem of prūdēns), contraction of prōvidēns provident
Related formspru·dent·ly, adverbnon·pru·dent, adjectivenon·pru·dent·ly, adverbpre·pru·dent, adjectivepre·pru·dent·ly, adverbsu·per·pru·dent, adjectiveun·pru·dent, adjectiveun·pru·dent·ly, adverb
Can be confusedprudent prudential

Synonyms for prudent Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

Examples from the Web for prudently

Contemporary Examples of prudently

Historical Examples of prudently

  • And so to-night I am going to spend them, not prudently on bread, but prodigally on beer.

    Ballads of a Bohemian

    Robert W. Service

  • I steamed past prudently, then stopped the engines and let her drift down.

    Heart of Darkness

    Joseph Conrad

  • None of his companions needed to be told how to get prudently away.

    Nan of Music Mountain

    Frank H. Spearman

  • Men she had vanquished; they had given her a sort of ton which she had prudently managed.


    Benjamin Disraeli

  • He no longer drank cautiously, prudently, but imprudently and recklessly.

    Uncle Tom's Cabin

    Harriet Beecher Stowe

British Dictionary definitions for prudently



discreet or cautious in managing one's activities; circumspect
practical and careful in providing for the future
exercising good judgment or common sense
Derived Formsprudently, adverb

Word Origin for prudent

C14: from Latin prūdēns far-sighted, contraction of prōvidens acting with foresight; see provident
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 prudently



late 14c., from Old French prudent "with knowledge, deliberate" (c.1300), from Latin prudentem (nominative prudens) "knowing, skilled, sagacious, circumspect;" rarely in literal sense "foreseeing;" contraction of providens, present participle of providere "to foresee" (see provide). Related: Prudently.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper