AskDefine | Define precaution

Dictionary Definition



1 a precautionary measure warding off impending danger or damage or injury etc.; "he put an ice pack on the injury as a precaution"; "an insurance policy is a good safeguard"; "we let our guard down" [syn: safeguard, guard]
2 the trait of practicing caution in advance
3 judiciousness in avoiding harm or danger; "he exercised caution in opening the door"; "he handled the vase with care" [syn: caution, care, forethought]

User Contributed Dictionary



pr['e]cation, praecautio, from praecavere, praecautum, to guard against beforehand; prae (before) + cavere (be on one's guard). See pre-, and caution.


  1. Previous caution or care; caution previously employed to prevent mischief or secure good; as, his life was saved by precaution.
    The ancient philosophers treasured up their supposed discoveries with miserable precaution. --J. H. Newman.
  2. A measure taken beforehand to ward off evil or secure good or success; a precautionary act; as, to take precautions against accident.


Previous caution or care
A measure taken beforehand to ward off evil or secure good or success


  1. : To warn or caution beforehand. --Locke.
  2. : To take precaution against. [R.] --Dryden.


To warn or caution beforehand
To take precaution against

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Synonyms, Antonyms and Related Words

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