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Line breaks: care|ful
Pronunciation: /ˈkɛːfʊl
, -f(ə)l/

Definition of careful in English:


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.
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.
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.
thorough, exhaustive, rigorous;
fussy, finicky
informal pernickety
archaic nice, laborious


Old English carful (see care, -ful).



Example sentences
  • Do this by gently tipping the plant out of its pot and carefully poking the soil to see if there are any grubs.
  • We looked carefully at the fixtures list to avoid any potential clash with the rugby team.
  • The best way to avoid all of these worries is to think ahead and plan your bonfire night carefully.


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.

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