Definitions

from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 4th Edition

  • n. Careful forethought to avoid danger or harm.
  • n. Close attention or vigilance to minimize risk: The car proceeded over the rickety bridge with caution.
  • n. Prudence or restraint in action or decision: advised caution in choosing a school.
  • n. A warning or admonishment, especially to take heed: I received a caution from the doctor about fat in my diet.
  • n. A cautious action; a precaution: The climbers took the necessary cautions in preparing for the ascent.
  • n. Informal One that is striking or alarming.
  • transitive v. To advise to take heed; warn or admonish.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

  • n. Precept or warning against evil or danger of any kind; exhortation to wariness; advice; injunction.
  • n. A careful attention to the probable effects of an act, in order that failure or harm may be avoided; prudence in regard to danger; provident care; wariness.
  • n. Security; guaranty; bail.
  • n. One who gives rise to attention or astonishment.
  • n. A formal warning given as an alternative to prosecution in minor cases.
  • v. To warn; to alert, advise that caution is warranted.

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • n. A careful attention to the probable effects of an act, in order that failure or harm may be avoided; prudence in regard to danger; provident care; wariness.
  • n. Security; guaranty; bail.
  • n. Precept or warning against evil of any kind; exhortation to wariness; advice; injunction.
  • n. A pledge, bond, or other security for the performance of an obligation either in or out of judicial proceedings; the promise or contract of one not for himself but another; security.
  • transitive v. To give notice of danger to; to warn; to exhort [one] to take heed.

from The Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia

  • To give notice of danger to; warn; exhort to take heed.
  • n. Prudence in regard to danger; wariness, consisting in a careful attention to probable and possible results, and a judicious course of conduct to avoid failure or disaster.
  • n. Anything intended or serving to induce wariness; a warning given either by word of mouth or in any other way; monitory advice.
  • n. Provision or security against something; provident care; precaution.
  • n. In recent Eng. law, a written warning or caveat filed with the registrar of land-titles against dealings with the land without notice to the cautioner, or person who files the warning.
  • n. Security; guaranty; pledge; bail.
  • n. A person who gives security; a surety; a cautioner.
  • n.
  • n. Bond; bill.
  • n. Something to excite alarm or astonishment; something extraordinary: absolutely or with some fanciful addition: as, the way they scattered was a caution to snakes.
  • n. Admonition.

from WordNet 3.0 Copyright 2006 by Princeton University. All rights reserved.

  • v. warn strongly; put on guard
  • n. judiciousness in avoiding harm or danger
  • n. the trait of being cautious; being attentive to possible danger
  • n. the trait of being circumspect and prudent
  • n. a warning against certain acts

Etymologies

Middle English caucioun, from Old French caution, from Latin cautiō, cautiōn-, from cautus, past participle of cavēre, to take care.
(American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth Edition)
Recorded since 1297, "bail, guarantee, pledge", from Old French "security, surety" itself from Latin cautio, from cautus, the past participle of cavere "to be on one's guard" (Wiktionary)

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