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

  • adj. Giving or serving as a warning; admonitory: a cautionary tale; cautionary advice.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

  • adj. Serving to caution or warn; admonitory
  • adj. Serving to ward off; preventive
  • adj. Held as security or hostage

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • adj. Conveying a caution, or warning to avoid danger.
  • adj. Given as a pledge or as security.
  • adj. Wary; cautious.

from The Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia

  • Containing a caution, or warning to avoid danger: as, cautionary advice.
  • Given as a pledge or in security.
  • And it is resolved that it [a benevolence raised for the crown in Devon] shall only be employed for the payment of his debts, as namely for Ireland, the Navy, and the Cautionary Towns in the Low Countries; and so, leaving the carriage of this business to your discretions and wisdoms, we bid you heartily farewell.
  • n. Same as cautionry.

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

  • adj. warding off
  • adj. serving to warn


Sorry, no etymologies found.


  • He looked guardedly up and down the road, his expression cautionary now, one white man to another.

    Jolie Blon’s Bounce

  • The Partnership has listed some of the important factors that could cause actual results to differ materially from those discussed in such forward-looking statements, which I refer to as cautionary statements and its earnings press release which can be viewed on the company's website on subsequent, written and oral forward-looking statements attributable to the partnership or person acting on this behalf are especially qualified in their entirety by such cautionary statements. Home Page

  • Calce and journalist Craig Silverman are releasing "Mafiaboy: How I Cracked the Internet and Why It's Still Broken," which he describes as a cautionary tale that looks at his hacking past as well as the current state of personal security on the Internet.

  • This is a story is your basic Frankenstein cautionary tale of science uncontrolled, and the dangerous consequences when the creation turns on the master.

    Lucky number “9″ » Scene-Stealers

  • Web design project from hell immortalized in cautionary webcomic

    Boing Boing

  • For additional information concerning factors that can cause actual results to differ materially from forward-looking statements, I ask that you refer to our cautionary statement and risk factors contained in today's 8-K and 10-Q filings with the SEC, as well as our 2010 10-K filed on February 24, 2011.

  • Although she's right, Florence is a slow learner who takes a long time to recall a cautionary phrase — "hurt people hurt people" — that she picked up along her painful way.

    'Greenberg': Losers' Winning Love Story

  • Mvela spokesman James Wellsted said the companies were trading under a so-called cautionary statement to the Johannesburg securities exchange and were unable to give further details on the talks.

    African Platinum Firms in Talks

  • Cuaron has with co-writers Timothy J. Sexton, David Arata, Mark Fergus and Hawk Ostby taken what has been described as a cautionary tale and transformed it into a thought-provoking action flick.

    Children of Men and The Pursuit of Happyness: Movies That Entertain and Provoke Thought!

  • That is why Sheila and David Rothman have called their cautionary new book The Pursuit of Perfection.

    Getting in Nature's Way


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  • 1597 SIR F. VERE Comm. (1657) 70 The ordinary Garrison of the cautionary towns. 1611 SPEED Hist. Gt. Brit. IX. viii. (1632) 556 That..all his cautionary Lords should be released.

    July 25, 2008