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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
  • The course was slippery in spots and team managers instructed their pilots to move cautiously over the oiled paths.
  • The author even cautiously floats the idea of subsidizing video games as part of anticrime policy.
  • So many feet have stepped cautiously to the edge of major overlooks that in places the rock has been polished smooth.
  • Birch knew, however, that such interpretations should be made cautiously.
  • The genetic modification of fungi or plants to increase the production of fuel needs to be undertaken cautiously.
  • Three-quarters said they were cautiously optimistic.
  • Rather, they espouse a delicate approach to these new lands, and a warning to scan them cautiously.
  • But conspicuous consumption is still to be indulged in cautiously.
  • The nation's economists are cautiously crawling out of their bunkers.
  • The industry is also cautiously excited about two new forms of online advertising.
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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