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 Dictionary entry overview: What does careful mean? 

CAREFUL (adjective)
  The adjective CAREFUL has 5 senses:

1. exercising caution or showing care or attention
2. cautiously attentive
3. with care and dignity
4. full of cares or anxiety
5. mindful of the future in spending money

  Familiarity information: CAREFUL used as an adjective is common.

 Dictionary entry details 

CAREFUL (adjective)

Sense 1careful [BACK TO TOP]


Exercising caution or showing care or attention

Context examples:

they were careful when crossing the busy street / be careful to keep her shoes clean / did very careful research / careful art restorers / careful of the rights of others / careful about one's behavior


protective ((usually followed by 'of') solicitously caring or mindful)

thorough (painstakingly careful and accurate)

studious (marked by care and effort)

particular (providing specific details or circumstances)

overcareful; too-careful (excessively or unduly careful)

minute; narrow (characterized by painstaking care and detailed examination)

detailed; elaborate; elaborated (developed or executed with care and in minute detail)

conscientious; painstaking; scrupulous (characterized by extreme care and great effort)

close (rigorously attentive; strict and thorough)

certain; sure (exercising or taking care great enough to bring assurance)

cautious (cautious in attitude and careful in actions; prudent)

blow-by-blow (providing great detail)


prudent (careful and sensible; marked by sound judgment)

cautious (showing careful forethought)

diligent (characterized by care and perseverance in carrying out tasks)


carefulness (the quality of being careful and painstaking)


careless (marked by lack of attention or consideration or forethought or thoroughness; not careful)

Sense 2careful [BACK TO TOP]


Cautiously attentive


careful; heedful

Context examples:

careful of her feelings / heedful of his father's advice


aware; mindful (bearing in mind; attentive to)

Sense 3careful [BACK TO TOP]


With care and dignity


deliberate; careful; measured

Context examples:

walking at the same measured pace / with all deliberate speed


unhurried (relaxed and leisurely; without hurry or haste)

Sense 4careful [BACK TO TOP]


Full of cares or anxiety

Context example:

Thou art careful and troubled about many things


troubled (characterized by or indicative of distress or affliction or danger or need)

Domain usage:

archaicism; archaism (the use of an archaic expression)

Sense 5careful [BACK TO TOP]


Mindful of the future in spending money


thrifty; careful

Context example:

careful with money


provident (providing carefully for the future)

 Learn English with... Proverbs of the week 
"The grass is always greener on the other side of the fence." (English proverb)

"If they don't exchange a few words, father and son will never know one another." (Bhutanese proverb)

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"He who sleeps cannot catch fish." (Corsican proverb)

 CAREFUL: related words searches 

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