Definition of caution in US English:

caution

noun

  • 1Care taken to avoid danger or mistakes.

    ‘anyone receiving a suspect package should exercise extreme caution’
    • ‘The real problem is that they mistake his caution for weakness.’
    • ‘Now that there is a danger of frost it is advisable to drive with caution and avoid rushing.’
    • ‘Extreme caution and care is required and journeys should not be undertaken unless necessary.’
    • ‘Local estrogen therapy should be used with caution in patients with impaired liver function.’
    • ‘The caution displayed for many years by the French Conseil d' Etat concerning the supremacy of Community law is mirrored in the case law of other States.’
    • ‘To this effect, he wanted to urge road users locally to exercise care, caution and common sense when getting behind the wheel of a car.’
    • ‘Those urging caution note the failure of the euro to go above $1.30, despite ongoing market clatter about dollar weakness.’
    • ‘Download with caution and avoid files you can't be sure are safe.’
    • ‘It is the duty of an auditor to bring to bear on the work he has to perform that skill, care and caution which a reasonably competent, careful and cautious auditor would use.’
    • ‘As a defence of this immunity from action, it has been suggested that the prospect of litigation in such circumstances would cause delay and lead to excessive caution by ministers and officials.’
    • ‘She remembered Joe's warnings and walked with caution.’
    • ‘The Australian government warns travelers to exercise extreme caution.’
    • ‘A coroner has urged climbers to exercise extreme caution when tackling limestone cliffs in the Dales.’
    • ‘Drivers should exercise great caution on both public roads and bush tracks.’
    • ‘But the Irish Water Safety Association, has urged the public to exercise due caution if contemplating a swim in the cold waters in the coming days.’
    • ‘Last month the fertility expert Lord Winston urged caution, warning that many obstacles in their use remained.’
    • ‘I would ask that those involved in water based activity to exercise the utmost caution and to always play safe.’
    • ‘We understand that most motorists are very understanding and pass with due caution and care, and I would hope that most riders would thank them for this.’
    • ‘Rather, love, and its consequences, is seen as a valuable goal, but one to be pursued with caution and handled with care.’
    • ‘Extreme caution is urged with men who exhibit severe violence or sociopathic traits.’
    care, carefulness, wariness, awareness, heedfulness, heed, attention, attentiveness, alertness, watchfulness, vigilance, circumspection, discretion, prudence, guardedness, chariness, forethought, mindfulness
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    1. 1.1 Warning.
      ‘business advisers have sounded a note of caution’
      • ‘Remember the caution of Bill Bryson to the weary consumer - never buy anything you can't make your children carry.’
      • ‘However he sounded a note of caution, warning that the glut of orders could provoke a disturbing crisis in manufacturing capacity locally.’
      • ‘They had been confident enough in their understanding of the situation to ignore the caution in the manual.’
      • ‘The committee issued a formal caution against Mr Clayton's entry on the register.’
      • ‘Macleod's intervention was supported by constitutional experts yesterday as a vital step to modernise the Royal Family while Scottish Conservatives sounded a note of caution.’
      • ‘It became clear that it wasn't a clear-cut hydraulics failure, as the gauge was reading erratically without the associated warning or caution.’
      • ‘The committee issued a formal caution against Connolly's entry on the professional register.’
      • ‘However, members of the Public and Commercial Services union and Prospect union have met the announcement with a note of caution.’
      • ‘A general note of caution: nothing can be cured by miracles.’
      • ‘But this caution, Mr. Rummel notes, is not merely about protecting life. It is about protecting science.’
      • ‘‘Never lock your pets in a closed room, particularly a garage’ - the caution comes from V.R. Bhaskar.’
      • ‘By Thursday, conditions were eased considerably, with no repeat of the disastrous conditions, despite the Met Service continuing to sound a note of caution.’
      • ‘Perhaps, then, Vergil's great epic does not aim only to magnify the greatness of Augustus' Rome but also to sound a note of caution or, even, warning.’
      • ‘I fully agree with the caution expressed about the use of ‘smart cards.’’
      • ‘I looked at the fuel total again; the caution made no sense to me with this much fuel.’
      • ‘They dismiss questioning of the economy at this juncture with the caution, ‘We should not talk ourselves into a recession’.’
      • ‘She had dismissed the caution as ‘superfluous and ideological’ but in the midst of the shooting recalled the words.’
      • ‘One man ignored the caution and dropped onto his stomach without so much as waving a flashlight.’
      • ‘It is appropriate here to repeat the caution often taught in medical school: When hearing hoof beats, don't look for zebras!’
      • ‘The report waives a flag of caution, warning that resources needed for educational endeavors have been reduced all across the spectrum.’
  • 2dated, informal An amusing or surprising person.

    joker, comedian, comic, humorist, wag, wit, funny man, funny woman, prankster, jokester, clown, buffoon, character
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verb

  • 1reporting verb Say something as a warning.

    with clause ‘the secretary cautioned that economic uncertainties remained’
    with direct speech ‘“Be careful now,” I cautioned’
    • ‘Thailand might experience a trade deficit for the first time since the country managed to weather the 1997 economic crisis, KRC cautioned.’
    • ‘The American Society of Travel Agents cautions, too, about companies that sell questionable ID cards.’
    • ‘Economic purists caution patience and promise a more efficient electricity market in the future.’
    • ‘The mayor cautioned that the hike in property taxes is needed to comply with the state law requiring him to present a balanced budget.’
    • ‘He cautions, however, that the interdiction of migrant ships in international waters might be beyond Canada's ability.’
    • ‘Having sat on city committees and council and served as mayor for the past nine years, Matthews cautioned that the city can't afford to get directly involved in social programs.’
    • ‘The organization agreed that a link between DU exposure and cancer has yet to be established but cautioned that its study relied heavily on military data.’
    • ‘The State Department cautioned that US facilities worldwide could be closed temporarily ‘to assess security’.’
    • ‘Finally, he calls for consideration of potential economic fallout, cautioning that new developments will inevitably displace older technologies.’
    • ‘However, oil greases the national economy, and Gref cautioned on Thursday that the sector could be squeezed only so much before the economy started to suffer.’
    • ‘Despite the waiter cautioning that some dishes are ‘quite spicy,’ anyone who's accustomed to ethnic foods will find it all very safe and very mild.’
    • ‘‘Any extension should also have a finite timeframe so that such extensions cannot be exploited indefinitely,’ he cautioned.’
    • ‘The airline has repeatedly cautioned about the scale of competition in the low fares airline sector, but it expects to be the winner and become Europe's biggest carrier.’
    • ‘If they have no social contact and no exercise, these dogs are psychologically and physically deprived - a situation dog experts have long cautioned can lead to aggression and attacks.’
    • ‘However, Mr Neary cautioned that investors would face difficulties and extra costs in selling or buying shares if they opted to hold the share in physical share certificate form.’
    • ‘‘We've got 10 minutes to make it to your appointment,’ the co-pilot cautioned.’
    • ‘But they are cautioning here that it's too early to say that with any certainty.’
    • ‘And he cautions that all examples of behaviors that benefit individuals in the modern world are not necessarily products of evolution.’
    • ‘However, the Local Government Management Services Board has cautioned that the figures can be disproportionately affected by a small number of long term absences.’
    • ‘De Sosa cautioned, though, that ‘cancel for any reason’ policies don't automatically assure you a refund.’
    advise, warn, recommend, counsel, urge, admonish, exhort
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    1. 1.1caution againstno object Warn or advise against (doing something)
      ‘advisers have cautioned against tax increases’
      • ‘Before concluding, we reiterate the importance of high morale and caution against false rumors, defeatism, uncertainty, and discouragement.’
      • ‘In an accompanying editorial, Patriarca commends the study of new options for prevention of influenza but cautions against equating efficacy data with real-life effectiveness at a community level.’
      • ‘But Cilluffo cautions against over-generalizing about how U.S. authorities treat threats from Canada.’
      • ‘The Natural Child cautions against practices like ignoring a baby's cries to foster self-reliance or having the baby sleep in a separate room.’
      • ‘McCarthy at Penna stresses the importance of treating middle managers as major contributors to performance but cautions against going too far.’
      • ‘He cautions against listening to physicians who advocate over-the-counter remedies.’
      • ‘The end result of this idea is a broad consensus across the political spectrum that cautions against foreign interventions unless they are required for national security reasons.’
      • ‘Brian Boyd, professor of education at Strathclyde University, cautions against the idea of a quick fix.’
      • ‘However, she cautions against anything too strenuous, as muscle damage is more difficult to repair as we age.’
      • ‘He cowrote an editorial in the current issue of The Nation cautioning activists against engaging in any activities that could be spun by the GOP or the media as inappropriate.’
      • ‘In one of the essays, Feynman, who is one of the 20th century's smartest people, cautions against just this sort of thing in talking about the teaching of science to children.’
      • ‘However, he also cautions against unnecessary alarm.’
      • ‘However, he cautions against cheap supplements that don't contain a standardised extract; a dose of 900 mg - 1,800 mg was used in most trials.’
      • ‘But he cautions against letting your guard down.’
      • ‘He cautions against trying to professionalise everything as there is a lot to be learnt from traditional construction techniques.’
      • ‘The manager, whose prospects will be enhanced if Ronald De Boer can recover from a calf injury, cautions against adopting tactics designed only to avoid defeat.’
      • ‘Local officials of the American Civil Liberties Union are cautioning the NAACP against pushing for aggressive prosecutions and imprisonment of people who use racial slurs.’
      • ‘When advising readers on choosing titles carefully, you caution against titles that may be too silly or trite.’
      • ‘And Lowe, who himself is under pressure to succeed this season, cautions against expecting too much too soon from the 22-year-old.’
      • ‘Tom Soule, a wildlife coordinator for the DNR in northwestern Minnesota, cautions against applying Waller's research in Wisconsin to Minnesota.’
      advise, warn, recommend, counsel, urge, admonish, exhort
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Origin

Middle English (denoting bail or a guarantee; now chiefly Scots and US): from Latin cautio(n-), from cavere ‘take heed’.

Pronunciation

caution

/ˈkôSH(ə)n//ˈkɔʃ(ə)n/