before 1000; Middle English; Old English carful, cearful.
carefully, adverbcarefulness, nounquasi-careful, adjectivequasi-carefully, adverbultracareful, adjectiveultracarefully, adverb
watchful, guarded, chary, circumspect. Careful, cautious, discreet, wary
imply a watchful guarding against something. Careful
implies guarding against mistakes, by paying strict and close attention to details, and, often, trying to use good judgment: He was careful to distinguish between them. Cautious
implies a fear of some unfavorable situation and investigation before coming to conclusions: cautious about investments. Discreet
implies being prudent in speech and action and being trustworthy as a confidant: discreet in manner, in keeping secrets. Wary
implies a vigilant lookout for a danger suspected or feared: wary of polite strangers. 2.
meticulous, discerning. 2, 3.
thoughtful, concerned, solicitous, attentive, heedful, regardful.