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

  • adj. Attentive to potential danger, error, or harm; cautious: was careful when crossing the busy street; gave a careful answer.
  • adj. Thorough and painstaking in action or execution; conscientious: a careful search; careful art restorers.
  • adj. Protective; solicitous: Be careful of his feelings.
  • adj. Full of cares or anxiety: "Thou art careful and troubled about many things” ( Luke 10:41).

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

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

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English

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

from The Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia

  • 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.
  • n. One full of care or sorrow.

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

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


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



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