Definition of err on the side of caution in English:

err on the side of caution

phrase

  • Take a comparatively safe course of action when presented with a choice.

    ‘it is better for a doctor to err on the side of caution and follow the most restrictive view of the law’
    • ‘In last month's World Cup qualifier against Belarus at Hampden, he had been guilty of erring on the side of caution in fielding Kenny Miller as a one-man strikeforce.’
    • ‘However, they were ill-suited to vetting such ‘assets’, and erred on the side of caution.’
    • ‘City of York Council grits around 50 per cent of the network and there is a determination to err on the side of caution.’
    • ‘Whether its emissions will be a health hazard is not yet known and, rather than erring on the side of caution, it seems that our councillors are content for residents and workers in the area to be guinea pigs.’
    • ‘Ambulance staff, who refused to be named, told Scotland on Sunday they believed NHS 24 operators erred on the side of caution too often, particularly with respiratory symptoms and patients who might have a broken ankle or wrist.’
    • ‘My advice to learner drivers and anyone else, would be to err on the side of caution and make sure that if your car leaves the driveway it is fully insured.’
    • ‘We erred on the side of caution and had a high-profile police presence.’
    • ‘However, both train companies are erring on the side of caution because the plans are yet to be approved.’
    • ‘The damage may not be proven but we don't know, and we should err on the side of caution.’
    • ‘We assess the risk and try to identify what sort of gun it is - but there will be a small number of cases where we do not know that it is a toy or replica and if that is the case we would have to err on the side of caution.’