Definitions

from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 5th Edition.

  • adjective Attentive to potential danger, error, or harm; cautious.
  • adjective Thorough and painstaking in action or execution; conscientious.
  • adjective Protective; solicitous.
  • adjective Full of cares or anxiety.

from The Century Dictionary.

  • Full of care or grief; grieving; sorrowful.
  • Full of care; anxious; solicitous.
  • Filling with care or solicitude; exposing to concern, anxiety, or trouble; care-causing; painful.
  • Excited; eager; vehement.
  • Attentive to aid, support, or protect; provident: formerly with for, now generally with of, before the object.
  • Giving good heed; watchful; cautious: as, be careful to maintain good works; be careful of your conversation.
  • Showing or done with care or attention: as, careful consideration.
  • Provident, thoughtful, heedful.
  • Prudent, wary, etc.
  • noun One full of care or sorrow.

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English.

  • adjective Archaic Full of care; anxious; solicitous.
  • adjective Filling with care or solicitude; exposing to concern, anxiety, or trouble; painful.
  • adjective Taking care; giving good heed; watchful; cautious; provident; not indifferent, heedless, or reckless; -- often followed by of, for, or the infinitive.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License.

  • adjective obsolete Full of care or grief; sorrowful, sad.
  • adjective obsolete Full of cares or anxiety; worried, troubled.
  • adjective Having care (for); attentive to potential danger, error or harm; cautious.
  • adjective Conscientious and painstaking; meticulous.

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

  • adjective mindful of the future in spending money
  • adjective unhurried and with care and dignity
  • adjective full of cares or anxiety
  • adjective exercising caution or showing care or attention
  • adjective cautiously attentive

Etymologies

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

From Middle English careful, from Old English carful, ċearful ("careful, anxious, curious, troubled"), equivalent to care +‎ -ful.

Examples

  • "I am not careful [perhaps this should be _careful not_] to notice

    A Budget of Paradoxes, Volume I (of II)

  • He takes one of these plates and gives it a careful scouring with rotten-stone and alcohol or any other liquid preferred for this part of the operation -- that is, he gives it what he terms a careful scouring -- very gently indeed because, from the frequent trials he is in the habit of making in the camera, he fears he will rub the silver entirely away before he succeeds in obtaining a good impression.

    American Hand Book of the Daguerreotype

  • The room is lit only by a circle of red-jarred candles placed in careful order in a circle around an antique ebony table.

    Superhero Nation: how to write superhero novels and comic books » Thablue’s Review Forum

  • This swelling inertia for change that isn't rooted in careful economic study.

    Downplaying the Uninsured, Arnold Kling | EconLog | Library of Economics and Liberty

  • Arranged in careful symmetry, they feature broad ramps symbolizing the ties of government to the people.

    At 102, Brazil's foremost architect celebrates past achievements, looks to the future

  • Her thin careful hands demonstrated the various types of coffee she would make fresh for us and also purred over the strengths she had available.

    Page 2

  • Her thin careful hands demonstrated the various types of coffee she would make fresh for us and also purred over the strengths she had available.

    Page 2

  • Her thin careful hands demonstrated the various types of coffee she would make fresh for us and also purred over the strengths she had available.

    Page 2

  • Her thin careful hands demonstrated the various types of coffee she would make fresh for us and also purred over the strengths she had available.

    Page 2

  • Her thin careful hands demonstrated the various types of coffee she would make fresh for us and also purred over the strengths she had available.

    Page 2

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