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[pri-kaw-shuh n] /prɪˈkɔ ʃən/
a measure taken in advance to avert possible evil or to secure good results.
caution employed beforehand; prudent foresight.
verb (used with object)
to forewarn; put on guard.
1595-1605; < Late Latin praecautiōn- (stem of praecautiō). See pre-, caution
Related forms
unprecautioned, adjective
2. forethought, prudence, circumspection. Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2014.
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Examples for precautions
  • You'll appreciate his useful landscape applications and precautions as well.
  • After all, the politicians failed to take basic precautions to start with.
  • But with proper precautions, they can be visited and experienced safely.
  • We try to protect ourselves against volcanoes and tornadoes, but they overcome us despite our best precautions.
  • And here are some precautions worth taking, from my perspective.
  • Visitors should simply use the same precautions they would at home to avoid the disease.
  • Despite the precautions, clashes between protesters and the police erupted after the vote and continued into the evening.
  • The disease made him prone to exhaustion and collapse, and he had to take precautions to avoid straining his heart.
  • Without such precautions, the entire building could crack.
  • The rudimentary precautions to keep our imprisonment endurable he would not observe.
British Dictionary definitions for precautions


an action taken to avoid a dangerous or undesirable event
caution practised beforehand; circumspection
Derived Forms
precautionary, precautional, adjective
precautious, adjective
Word Origin
C17: from French, from Late Latin praecautiō, from Latin praecavēre to guard against, from prae before + cavēre to beware
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 precautions
1603, from Fr. précaution (16c.), from L.L. præcautionem (nom. præcautio), from L. præcautus, pp. of præcavere "to guard against beforehand," from præ + cavere "to be one's own guard" (see caution).
Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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