Definition of caveat in US English:



  • 1A warning or proviso of specific stipulations, conditions, or limitations.

    • ‘Promises are vague and hedged about with caveats.’
    • ‘The caveat regarding government figures is a necessary health warning.’
    • ‘None of these caveats appeared in the statement Goldsmith published in the House of Lords, on 17 March after giving a summary of his advice to the Cabinet.’
    • ‘Those caveats aside, the study gives a provocative look at how one of the world's most rapidly developing regions may look in 20 years' time.’
    • ‘One should begin by acknowledging some obvious caveats and qualifications.’
    • ‘As a second caveat, I also reserve the right to say no to a book, if I'm really opposed to it for some reason or another.’
    • ‘Mr Tarn said that the guidance being issued to schools on random drugs testing included many caveats, and schools were being advised to proceed with caution.’
    • ‘That simple gesture undercuts all the caveats, qualifications and circumlocutions.’
    • ‘I want to make a proviso, a caveat, that we may have slipped past earlier.’
    • ‘It would be easier for us to not have to sift through the caveats and restrictions on every sale and rebate, and apparently it would be better for you, too.’
    • ‘After that, all the normal caveats of property purchase apply - including making sure there is good title and you will own what you think you are paying for.’
    • ‘However, some caveats and limitations must be noted.’
    • ‘But in America, we choose to ignore the caveat about conditions at our peril.’
    • ‘Later the script began to talk of keeping vaccination ‘under review’ followed by a caveat listing its limitations.’
    • ‘Well, with the caveats that I just made, I think we can say that is true.’
    • ‘They omitted the intelligence agencies' caveats, cautions, and dissenting views.’
    • ‘Even school nurses, who straddle the two worlds of school employees and medicine, generally agree, with some caveats.’
    • ‘It is now clear that in many ways the intelligence services got it wrong; but their assessments included serious caveats, qualifications and cautions.’
    • ‘But it is also liberally sprinkled with caveats and warnings as to the difficulties in turning up more evidence.’
    • ‘Despite all these caveats, it is true that many readers will be surprised to learn that there were many more British soldiers killed at Gallipoli than Australian.’
    warning, caution, admonition, monition, red flag, alarm bells
    View synonyms
    1. 1.1Law A notice, especially in a probate, that certain actions may not be taken without informing the person who gave the notice.
      • ‘Further, the forest department too, was asked to file a caveat before the High Court to prevent the encroachers from obtaining a stay.’
      • ‘According to the next sentence, the wife could have registered what we would call a caveat and she could only do that if she had a proprietary interest.’
      • ‘Had the caveats been upheld a marriage certificate could not have been issued and the civil wedding at Windsor Guildhall would not have gone ahead.’
      • ‘When the Sheriff Clerk receives a petition against which a caveat has been lodged, it is his responsibility to give intimation to the caveator.’
      • ‘One sees the point that is raised, but one can also see the caveat that has been put forward in the terms of the tenancy agreement to which I have referred.’


Mid 16th century: from Latin, literally ‘let a person beware’.