Definition of careful in English:

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Pronunciation: /ˈkɛːfʊl/
Pronunciation: /ˈkɛːf(ə)l/


1Making sure of avoiding potential danger, mishap, or harm; cautious: I begged him to be more careful be careful not to lose her address
More example sentences
  • They were careful to make sure Robinson's helmet and feet did not contact the fragile ship.
  • In taking forward his company, he must be careful to make sure that the business case works for each part separately.
  • An unadmitted lack of confidence makes him careful to avoid open conflict and he feels he must make the best of things as they are.
cautious, heedful, alert, aware, attentive, watchful, vigilant, wary, on guard, chary, circumspect, prudent, mindful, guarded;
unhurried, measured, deliberate
informal leery, cagey
1.1 (careful of/about) Anxious to protect (something) from harm or loss; solicitous: he was very careful of his reputation
More example sentences
  • One is the force of entropy and decay, the other is the force careful of creativity and evolution.
  • He also warned shoppers to be extra careful of their belongings when they are Christmas shopping in Naas.
  • I remember asking them to be careful of the jacket I was wearing, because it belonged to my sister.
mindful, heedful, protective, watchful
1.2Prudent in the use of something, especially money: his mother had always been careful with money
More example sentences
  • Yes, these are tough times for everyone, but that is not why he was being so careful with his money.
  • He has a reputation for being careful with money, but not with time and laughs.
  • Apparently she was that she was a bit too careful with her money and died leaving millions of pounds.
prudent, thrifty, economical, economic, economizing, sparing, frugal, scrimping, abstemious, canny, sensible, cautious;
mean, miserly, niggardly, penny-pinching, parsimonious
informal stingy
2Done with or showing thought and attention: a careful consideration of the facts
More example sentences
  • Anti-speed campaigners in Guiseley have been rewarding careful drivers with a smile.
  • Considering I was the world's most careful driver, I felt some tension creep into my body.
  • It is measured objectively by the care to be expected of an experienced, skilled and careful driver.
attentive, conscientious, painstaking, meticulous, diligent, assiduous, sedulous, scrupulous, punctilious, fastidious, methodical, orderly, deliberate, judicious, perfectionist;
thorough, exhaustive, rigorous;
accurate, precise, correct, particular;
fussy, finicky
informal pernickety
archaic nice, laborious



Pronunciation: /ˈkɛːfəlnəs/
Example sentences
  • But I think there are many reasons for cautiousness and carefulness.
  • They take care of all parts with care, engineering precision and carefulness.
  • Of all the Chinese revolutionary women, Jiang Jie, or Sister Jiang, is the epitome of perseverance, determination, carefulness and sacrifice.


Old English carful (see care, -ful).

For editors and proofreaders

Line breaks: care|ful

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