Meaning of precaution in English:


Pronunciation /prɪˈkɔːʃ(ə)n/

See synonyms for precaution

Translate precaution into Spanish


  • 1A measure taken in advance to prevent something dangerous, unpleasant, or inconvenient from happening.

    ‘he had taken the precaution of seeking legal advice’
    • ‘You'd been checking yourself every day, as a matter of course, as a precaution.’
    • ‘He will sign the act; it is a necessary precaution and the only course of action possible at this time.’
    • ‘Of course I took the precaution of turning my light off first, and it was a lucky thing I did.’
    • ‘Both boys were taken to York Hospital and have been put on a course of penicillin as a precaution.’
    • ‘No one was injured during the incident but staff were evacuated as a precaution while firefighters made the area safe.’
    • ‘The sisters have even gone to the precaution of popping their valuables into the boot and they've still been stolen.’
    • ‘The government is purchasing and storing medicines and vaccines as a precaution against future attacks.’
    • ‘Because your shoulder girdle is an injury-prone area, take the following extra safety precautions when performing overhead presses.’
    • ‘Many of these fatalities and injuries could have been prevented if proper safety precautions were taken.’
    • ‘Working online without taking these necessary security precautions is simply asking for trouble.’
    • ‘Follow all necessary safety precautions and turn the laser on.’
    • ‘Moving the transfer date was a sensible precaution against anticipated insurgent attacks.’
    • ‘Keep your seatbelt fastened at all times when seated as an extra precaution in case of unexpected turbulence.’
    • ‘Direct telescope viewing is not recommended, since special precautions must be taken to avoid permanent eye damage.’
    • ‘Other high-risk procedures, including endotracheal intubation and bronchoscopy, also require special precautions.’
    • ‘They're safe if you follow the precautions on the label, which suggest ventilating your work area.’
    • ‘In particular, the building has inadequate fire precautions and no provision for thermal insulation.’
    • ‘The action has been taken as a veterinary precaution against the spread of foot and mouth infection.’
    • ‘As a precaution against the disease lingering, quick lime was poured into the graves.’
    • ‘Armed officers had been used as a precaution in case anyone was inside.’
    safeguard, preventative measure, preventive measure, safety measure, insurance, defence, provision
    View synonyms
    1. 1.1precautions informal Contraception.
      • ‘we never took precautions’
      • ‘If you are mature enough to have sex then you are mature enough to take precautions and use contraception and live with the consequences.’


Late 16th century (in the sense ‘prudent foresight’): from French précaution, from late Latin praecautio(n-), from Latin praecavere, from prae ‘before’ + cavere ‘take heed, beware of’.