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[kaw-shuh-ner-ee] /ˈkɔ ʃəˌnɛr i/
of the nature of or containing a warning:
cautionary advice; a cautionary tale.
Origin of cautionary
1590-1600; caution + -ary Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2015.
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Examples from the Web for cautionary
Contemporary Examples
Historical Examples
  • This is the quality which chiefly inspires the cautionary Tales, that admirable series of biographies.

    Hilaire Belloc C. Creighton Mandell
  • Plodder's cautionary signal had been hoisted to some purpose after all.

  • We did not allow our excited feelings to hinder us from taking some cautionary steps necessary to the carrying out of our design.

    The Guerilla Chief Mayne Reid
  • A woman's intuitions do not ask to have a cautionary signal repeated.

    Revisiting the Earth James Langdon Hill
  • "Now Tootsie," said Mr. Bedelle, elevating a cautionary finger.

    Skippy Bedelle Owen Johnson
British Dictionary definitions for cautionary


serving as a warning; intended to warn: a cautionary tale
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition
© William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012
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Word Origin and History for cautionary

"conveying a warning," 1590s, from caution (n.) + -ary.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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