Definition of careful in English:

careful

adjective

  • 1Making sure of avoiding potential danger, mishap, or harm; cautious.

    ‘I begged him to be more careful’
    ‘be careful not to lose her address’
    [as exclamation] ‘Careful! That stuff's worth a fortune!’
    • ‘Mack and Phil followed him, careful to avoid anything which would betray their position.’
    • ‘I must be very careful not to lose my temper with Maureen from the flats management company tomorrow.’
    • ‘We have been careful and cautious: we don't have Scottish in our name for nothing.’
    • ‘They were careful to make sure Robinson's helmet and feet did not contact the fragile ship.’
    • ‘He claims to be more careful and measured than he was in those days, but his example does not appear to have rubbed off on his players.’
    • ‘As the election draws near I must be careful to avoid bias, such is the frightening influence of the diary.’
    • ‘We should do everything we can as a government and as a people to be watchful and careful.’
    • ‘Kwan says she must be careful and aware of her body to make sure she doesn't risk injury.’
    • ‘Look guys I know we have to be a bit more alert, I know we have to be a bit more aware and careful.’
    • ‘We were very concerned to ensure that any opening of the courts was careful and cautious.’
    • ‘Be careful and use caution and I trust you, yours too will be a positive experience.’
    • ‘An unadmitted lack of confidence makes him careful to avoid open conflict and he feels he must make the best of things as they are.’
    • ‘The last stage had a lot of loose gravel on the surface so I made sure I was careful.’
    • ‘She would have to be more careful-he was aware of her and she was losing her energy quickly.’
    • ‘He also struck me as a cautious and careful man and an impressive witness.’
    • ‘In taking forward his company, he must be careful to make sure that the business case works for each part separately.’
    • ‘I'm not really careful and cautious, I tend to speak without thinking and jump in head first to a problem.’
    • ‘Ash paused, and recounted his dream to her in descriptive detail but was careful to avoid the part where she dies.’
    • ‘It's win at all costs and he is going to have to be careful because he could lose a lot.’
    • ‘However be careful to avoid litigations, as they will be a barrier to your success.’
    cautious, heedful, alert, aware, attentive, watchful, vigilant, wary, on guard, chary, circumspect, prudent, mindful, guarded
    View synonyms
    1. 1.1Anxious to protect (something) from harm or loss; solicitous.
      ‘he was very careful of his reputation’
      • ‘But you have got to be careful of other people's perception of you.’
      • ‘So since it's sitting on your servers you want to be more careful of it.’
      • ‘He says that we too could undergo a similar fate if we are not more careful of the environment.’
      • ‘Morrissey is very careful about his image and needs to keep an aura of mystery about him.’
      • ‘Be careful of your heart and be extra specially careful with who you give it to, even if you only give it for a moment.’
      • ‘I remember asking them to be careful of the jacket I was wearing, because it belonged to my sister.’
      • ‘He also warned shoppers to be extra careful of their belongings when they are Christmas shopping in Naas.’
      • ‘One is the force of entropy and decay, the other is the force careful of creativity and evolution.’
    2. 1.2Prudent in the use of something, especially money.
      ‘he had always been careful with money’
      • ‘He has a reputation for being careful with money, but not with time and laughs.’
      • ‘Perhaps a deficiency in this chemical marks a person as someone who needs to be careful with booze.’
      • ‘He was so nearly lost to addiction some years ago that he is now careful in the other extreme.’
      • ‘As Christmas approaches we would urge the public to be particularly careful with money.’
      • ‘I never was in the habit of depriving myself but from now on I refuse to be careful with my money.’
      • ‘My dad was always very careful and he has advised me not to be too cautious and end up with money I don't know what to do with.’
      • ‘With these he was careful and prudent, but never hesitated to recommend judicious outlay.’
      • ‘Yes, these are tough times for everyone, but that is not why he was being so careful with his money.’
      • ‘Hands up all those who think Yorkshire parliamentarians will be far more careful with the public purse?’
      • ‘I also went to the gym and worked out and I made sure I was careful with what I ate.’
      • ‘Be careful of alcohol and drugs especially if you tend to become angry or aggressive when drinking.’
      • ‘Stuff like Lemsip is also banned and you have got to be careful with your caffeine dosages.’
      • ‘By the way, I used to work for a chap who was tremendously careful with his money.’
      • ‘Apparently she was that she was a bit too careful with her money and died leaving millions of pounds.’
      • ‘I like to treat myself now and again, but I am very careful in that I always put money aside for saving.’
      • ‘Could it be that since quitting his job, he has to be more careful with his baht?’
      • ‘I learnt a valuable lesson which was to be a little more careful with my finances.’
      • ‘With many clubs becoming increasingly careful with the pennies, very few big money deals took place.’
      • ‘Be careful with irony or sarcasm, especially if you are emailing someone abroad.’
      • ‘The rivals not only have deeper pockets, they are less careful than the canny Tike on how they spend their cash.’
  • 2Done with or showing thought and attention.

    ‘a careful consideration of the facts’
    • ‘A defendant would have to use careful language to avoid imputing guilt by a statement of suspicion.’
    • ‘Just a careful check every now and again to make sure it doesn't grow.’
    • ‘Take careful measurements of doors and windows before buying to make sure they will fit in their new home.’
    • ‘These are not reasons for inaction but they counsel caution and careful planning.’
    • ‘In such circumstances careful financial planning for the future has to be done right from the start.’
    • ‘It is measured objectively by the care to be expected of an experienced, skilled and careful driver.’
    • ‘But it has taken time and a lot of careful planning to avoid going into debt.’
    • ‘Once this is complete, careful testing will help Dione to avoid costly mistakes.’
    • ‘Considering I was the world's most careful driver, I felt some tension creep into my body.’
    • ‘A lot of wastage can be avoided in toilets, baths and kitchens too with careful planning.’
    • ‘I took careful, measured steps that didn't cause my pants to shift too much.’
    • ‘Anti-speed campaigners in Guiseley have been rewarding careful drivers with a smile.’
    • ‘You can often avoid CGT with careful planning and canny use of your annual allowance.’
    • ‘Using your home to provide you with extra money in your old age needs careful thinking and it shouldn't be done lightly.’
    • ‘This timely reminder of the dangers of diabetes should prompt a careful look at the wisdom of that strategy.’
    • ‘Such heady days may yet return to Carrow Road, but will only do so with sensible and careful planning.’
    • ‘One of its main strengths is reckoned to be in the careful management of other peoples' money.’
    • ‘To be frank, his bat was held too straight, his careful answers the product of wary years of dealing with the media.’
    • ‘After much careful deliberation, I had finally managed to whittle my wishes down to just two.’
    • ‘First, the entire science of astronomy had depended on careful measurement from the very beginning.’
    attentive, conscientious, painstaking, meticulous, diligent, assiduous, sedulous, scrupulous, punctilious, fastidious, methodical, orderly, deliberate, judicious, perfectionist
    View synonyms

Origin

Old English carful (see care, -ful).

Pronunciation:

careful

/ˈkerfəl/