Definition of cautious in US English:

cautious

adjective

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

    ‘a cautious driver’
    • ‘Perhaps that means they should be more wary and cautious in the future.’
    • ‘After months of being cautious and playing hard to get, I'm going to bravely risk rejection this time.’
    • ‘But they were more cautious, fearing a challenge which might destabilise the bank.’
    • ‘But while enjoying different foods and customs, she is also learning when to be cautious.’
    • ‘So ignore commentators' advice to be more politically correct, more cautious, more bland.’
    • ‘He also warned the public to be cautious and to book any foreign travel with recognised and regulated travel agents.’
    • ‘Luckily she is a infuriatingly cautious driver, otherwise she could have been a goner.’
    • ‘Owning to the severe winter, the zoo staff is being extra cautious with animals.’
    • ‘We have been careful and cautious: we don't have Scottish in our name for nothing.’
    • ‘Perhaps the media has simply become more cautious since the days of the dot-com bust.’
    • ‘However, when it comes to holiday spending, we are just that little bit more cautious.’
    • ‘In my view, we are very lucky to have a very prudent and cautious Minister of Finance.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘Economists were more cautious when making forecasts of the impact of the rising oil prices.’
    • ‘You know that there are people and situations in your life that you need to be cautious and careful about.’
    • ‘Nowadays, you've got to be as cautious with your email address as with your home address.’
    • ‘A spokesman for the AA urged drivers to be cautious, warning of black ice on the roads.’
    • ‘Most pickpockets are cautious thieves hoping to avoid any kind of confrontation.’
    • ‘The second reason to be cautious is that there is no effective mechanism for dealing with global imbalances.’
    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’
      • ‘Blunkett's language may have been cautious, but his bravery wasn't in doubt.’
      • ‘I even have a cautious optimism that some such changes could benefit Catholic life.’
      • ‘So those who are attached to the cautious approach will hold back nervously rather than boldly promote growth.’
      • ‘Their overly cautious policy is one that they will pay for in the end.’
      • ‘His findings, though cautious and conservative, are nevertheless provocative.’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘The attitudes many of these young people had developed were both cautious and illiberal.’
      • ‘But the scheme has received a cautious welcome from traders and business groups.’
      • ‘Traders in Wood Street in Old Town have given a cautious welcome to a parking meter that arrived two weeks ago.’
      • ‘Initial reaction from the couple was cautious but the breakthrough of the arrest was evident on their faces.’
      • ‘Campaigners have given a cautious welcome to news that a Witham community centre looks likely to be saved.’
      • ‘Chairman Sir Michael Bett welcomed the results, despite a cautious note about the size of margins.’
      • ‘Bradford's new Gala Casino opened its doors yesterday to a cautious welcome from some.’
      • ‘At last, in cautious murmurs, they own up that they are wide awake, and far from tranquil.’
      • ‘Tendring Council has given cautious approval to the Bathside Bay proposals.’
      • ‘The county council wants the Government to allow North Yorkshire to adopt a more cautious approach.’
      • ‘We were very concerned to ensure that any opening of the courts was careful and cautious.’
      • ‘The Pope's cautious reaction to martial law was prompted by his firm belief in non-violence.’

Origin

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

Pronunciation

cautious

/ˈkôSHəs//ˈkɔʃəs/