careful Definition

  • 1giving attention or thought to what you are doing so that you avoid hurting yourself, damaging something, or doing something wrong
  • 2done with great attention to detail

Using careful: Examples

Take a moment to familiarize yourself with how "careful" can be used in various situations through the following examples!

  • Example

    Be careful not to slip on the wet floor.

  • Example

    She is a careful driver and always follows the rules.

  • Example

    He gave a careful examination of the evidence before making a decision.

careful Synonyms and Antonyms

Phrases with careful

  • to be cautious or careful


    Take care when you cross the street.

  • handle with care

    to treat something delicately or gently


    The package is marked 'handle with care' because it contains fragile items.

  • used to warn someone that they should think carefully about what they want because they may get it and then regret it


    She always wanted to be famous, but now that she is, she realizes that it's not as great as she thought. Be careful what you wish for.

Origins of careful

from Old English 'cǣrful', meaning 'full of care'


Summary: careful in Brief

The term 'careful' [ˈkeəfəl] describes actions taken with attention and thoughtfulness to avoid harm or mistakes. It can also refer to work done with great attention to detail. Examples include 'Be careful not to slip on the wet floor,' and 'He gave a careful examination of the evidence before making a decision.' Phrases like 'take care' and 'handle with care' denote caution and gentleness, while 'be careful what you wish for' warns against hasty desires.

How do native speakers use this expression?