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[kaw-shuh s] /ˈkɔ ʃəs/
showing, using, or characterized by caution:
a cautious man; To be cautious is often to show wisdom.
Origin of cautious
1630-40; cauti(on) + -ous
Related forms
cautiously, adverb
cautiousness, noun
hypercautious, adjective
hypercautiously, adverb
hypercautiousness, noun
supercautious, adjective
ultracautious, adjective
ultracautiously, adverb
ultracautiousness, noun
uncautious, adjective
uncautiously, adverb
uncautiousness, noun
prudent, guarded, wary, chary, circumspect, watchful, vigilant. See careful. Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2015.
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Examples from the Web for cautiously
Contemporary Examples
Historical Examples
  • cautiously he opened the door of the hut of one whom he knew well.

    Glimpses of Three Coasts Helen Hunt Jackson
  • cautiously they placed them in the baskets on their backs and then retraced their steps.

  • She cautiously entered the parlour on the left hand of the front door: all was safe.

    The Mysteries of London, v. 1/4 George W. M. Reynolds
  • cautiously he drew back, still looking about for some means to cross the chasm.

    The Monster Men Edgar Rice Burroughs
  • cautiously I raised my head and looked in the direction whence the sound came; but the cemetery blocked my view.

    Dracula's Guest Bram Stoker
British Dictionary definitions for cautiously


showing or having caution; wary; prudent
Derived Forms
cautiously, adverb
cautiousness, noun
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 cautiously



1640s, from caution + -ous. The Latin word for this was cautus "careful, heedful." Related: Cautiously; cautiousness.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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