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precaution Line breaks: pre|cau¦tion
Pronunciation: /prɪˈkɔːʃ(ə)n/

Definition of precaution in English:


1A measure taken in advance to prevent something dangerous, unpleasant, or inconvenient from happening: he had taken the precaution of seeking legal advice
More example sentences
  • You'd been checking yourself every day, as a matter of course, as a precaution.
  • He will sign the act; it is a necessary precaution and the only course of action possible at this time.
  • Of course I took the precaution of turning my light off first, and it was a lucky thing I did.
safeguard, preventative/preventive measure, safety measure, insurance, defence, provision
informal backstop
1.1 (precautions) informal Contraception: we never took precautions
More example sentences
  • If you are mature enough to have sex then you are mature enough to take precautions and use contraception and live with the consequences.


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'.

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