Alternative formsEdit


From Middle English careful, from Old English carful; equivalent to care +‎ -ful.


  • (UK) IPA(key): /ˈkɛːfəl/
  • (US) IPA(key): /ˈkɛ(ə)ɹfəl/
  • (file)


careful (comparative more careful, superlative most careful)

  1. Taking care; attentive to potential danger, error or harm; cautious.
    He was a slow and careful driver.
    Be very careful while trekking through the jungle.
  2. Conscientious and painstaking; meticulous.
    • 2019, Li Huang; James Lambert, “Another Arrow for the Quiver: A New Methodology for Multilingual Researchers”, in Journal of Multilingual and Multicultural Development, DOI:10.1080/01434632.2019.1596115, page 7:
      At the same time, we were cognisant that careful scholars should never solely rely on their own impressionistic observations, and, that our own impressions were inexact and not capable of being quantified.
    They made a careful search of the crime scene.
  3. (obsolete) Full of care or grief; sorrowful, sad.
  4. (obsolete) Full of cares or anxiety; worried, troubled.
    • 1590, Edmund Spenser, The Faerie Queene, III.1:
      Where through long watch, and late daies weary toile, / She soundly slept, and carefull thoughts did quite assoile.



Derived termsEdit


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