Definition of cautious in English:

Share this entry


Pronunciation: /ˈkôSHəs/


1(Of a person) careful to avoid potential problems or dangers: a cautious driver
More example sentences
  • Most pickpockets are cautious thieves hoping to avoid any kind of confrontation.
  • You know that there are people and situations in your life that you need to be cautious and careful about.
  • We have been careful and cautious: we don't have Scottish in our name for nothing.
careful, heedful, attentive, alert, watchful, vigilant, circumspect, prudent;
cagey, canny
1.1(Of an action) characterized by the desire to avoid potential problems: the plan received a cautious welcome
More example sentences
  • 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.



Pronunciation: /ˈkôSHəsnəs/
Example sentences
  • But I think there are many reasons for cautiousness and carefulness.
  • I understand the cautiousness of parents: I am one.
  • His foreign policy was characterised by cautiousness and a patient wait-and-see attitude.


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

Words that rhyme with cautious


For editors and proofreaders

Syllabification: cau·tious

Share this entry

What do you find interesting about this word or phrase?

Comments that don't adhere to our Community Guidelines may be moderated or removed.