Definition of precaution in US English:

precaution

noun

  • A measure taken in advance to prevent something dangerous, unpleasant, or inconvenient from happening.

    ‘he had taken the precaution of seeking legal advice’
    • ‘Both boys were taken to York Hospital and have been put on a course of penicillin as a precaution.’
    • ‘Of course I took the precaution of turning my light off first, and it was a lucky thing I did.’
    • ‘No one was injured during the incident but staff were evacuated as a precaution while firefighters made the area safe.’
    • ‘Keep your seatbelt fastened at all times when seated as an extra precaution in case of unexpected turbulence.’
    • ‘Direct telescope viewing is not recommended, since special precautions must be taken to avoid permanent eye damage.’
    • ‘They're safe if you follow the precautions on the label, which suggest ventilating your work area.’
    • ‘Follow all necessary safety precautions and turn the laser on.’
    • ‘Working online without taking these necessary security precautions is simply asking for trouble.’
    • ‘You'd been checking yourself every day, as a matter of course, as a precaution.’
    • ‘Many of these fatalities and injuries could have been prevented if proper safety precautions were taken.’
    • ‘As a precaution against the disease lingering, quick lime was poured into the graves.’
    • ‘He will sign the act; it is a necessary precaution and the only course of action possible at this time.’
    • ‘Other high-risk procedures, including endotracheal intubation and bronchoscopy, also require special precautions.’
    • ‘The sisters have even gone to the precaution of popping their valuables into the boot and they've still been stolen.’
    • ‘In particular, the building has inadequate fire precautions and no provision for thermal insulation.’
    • ‘The government is purchasing and storing medicines and vaccines as a precaution against future attacks.’
    • ‘The action has been taken as a veterinary precaution against the spread of foot and mouth infection.’
    • ‘Armed officers had been used as a precaution in case anyone was inside.’
    • ‘Moving the transfer date was a sensible precaution against anticipated insurgent attacks.’
    • ‘Because your shoulder girdle is an injury-prone area, take the following extra safety precautions when performing overhead presses.’
    safeguard, preventative measure, preventive measure, safety measure, insurance, defence, provision
    View synonyms

Origin

Late 16th century (in the sense ‘prudent foresight’): from French précaution, from late Latin praecautio(n-), from Latin praecavere, from prae ‘before’ + cavere ‘take heed, beware of’.

Pronunciation

precaution

/prəˈkɔʃ(ə)n//prəˈkôSH(ə)n/