Definition of cautious in US English:

cautious

adjective

  • 1(of a person) careful to avoid potential problems or dangers.

    ‘a cautious driver’
    • ‘So ignore commentators' advice to be more politically correct, more cautious, more bland.’
    • ‘A spokesman for the AA urged drivers to be cautious, warning of black ice on the roads.’
    • ‘In my view, we are very lucky to have a very prudent and cautious Minister of Finance.’
    • ‘But they were more cautious, fearing a challenge which might destabilise the bank.’
    • ‘Perhaps the media has simply become more cautious since the days of the dot-com bust.’
    • ‘Owning to the severe winter, the zoo staff is being extra cautious with animals.’
    • ‘Most pickpockets are cautious thieves hoping to avoid any kind of confrontation.’
    • ‘Nowadays, you've got to be as cautious with your email address as with your home address.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘You never know, the council may even be a little more cautious before it offers up another bit of open space to developers.’
    • ‘Perhaps that means they should be more wary and cautious in the future.’
    • ‘Economists were more cautious when making forecasts of the impact of the rising oil prices.’
    • ‘Luckily she is a infuriatingly cautious driver, otherwise she could have been a goner.’
    • ‘However, when it comes to holiday spending, we are just that little bit more cautious.’
    • ‘You know that there are people and situations in your life that you need to be cautious and careful about.’
    • ‘But while enjoying different foods and customs, she is also learning when to be cautious.’
    • ‘We have been careful and cautious: we don't have Scottish in our name for nothing.’
    • ‘He also warned the public to be cautious and to book any foreign travel with recognised and regulated travel agents.’
    • ‘The second reason to be cautious is that there is no effective mechanism for dealing with global imbalances.’
    • ‘After months of being cautious and playing hard to get, I'm going to bravely risk rejection this time.’
    careful, wary, aware, heedful, attentive, alert, watchful, vigilant, circumspect, prudent, guarded, on one's guard, chary, mindful
    View synonyms
    1. 1.1 (of an action) characterized by the desire to avoid potential problems.
      ‘the plan received a cautious welcome’
      • ‘His findings, though cautious and conservative, are nevertheless provocative.’
      • ‘Tendring Council has given cautious approval to the Bathside Bay proposals.’
      • ‘Initial reaction from the couple was cautious but the breakthrough of the arrest was evident on their faces.’
      • ‘The attitudes many of these young people had developed were both cautious and illiberal.’
      • ‘I even have a cautious optimism that some such changes could benefit Catholic life.’
      • ‘We were very concerned to ensure that any opening of the courts was careful and cautious.’
      • ‘Traders in Wood Street in Old Town have given a cautious welcome to a parking meter that arrived two weeks ago.’
      • ‘I think it is because we are a comfortable society that moves in cautious steps.’
      • ‘The budget proposed for Basildon has been given a cautious but warm welcome by residents.’
      • ‘Vale of York MP Anne McIntosh takes a slightly more cautious line than her leader.’
      • ‘So those who are attached to the cautious approach will hold back nervously rather than boldly promote growth.’
      • ‘Chairman Sir Michael Bett welcomed the results, despite a cautious note about the size of margins.’
      • ‘But the scheme has received a cautious welcome from traders and business groups.’
      • ‘At last, in cautious murmurs, they own up that they are wide awake, and far from tranquil.’
      • ‘The Pope's cautious reaction to martial law was prompted by his firm belief in non-violence.’
      • ‘Bradford's new Gala Casino opened its doors yesterday to a cautious welcome from some.’
      • ‘Blunkett's language may have been cautious, but his bravery wasn't in doubt.’
      • ‘Campaigners have given a cautious welcome to news that a Witham community centre looks likely to be saved.’
      • ‘Their overly cautious policy is one that they will pay for in the end.’
      • ‘The county council wants the Government to allow North Yorkshire to adopt a more cautious approach.’

Origin

Mid 17th century: from caution, on the pattern of pairs such as ambition, ambitious.

Pronunciation

cautious

/ˈkôSHəs//ˈkɔʃəs/