being careful about what you say or do, especially to avoid danger or mistakes; not taking any risks The government has been cautious in its response to the report. They've taken a very cautious approach. They expressed cautious optimism about a solution to the crisis. cautious about somebody/something | cautious about doing something He was very cautious about committing himself to anything. Which Word?cautious / careful A cautious person is nervous that something may be dangerous or unwise, so they only do it very slowly or after a lot of thought. (opposite = rash) A careful person is not nervous but does take extra care to make sure that everything is correct or nothing goes wrong. (opposite = careless) Notice also:Be careful/Take care when you drive on icy roads.Caution/Warning—thin ice. Word Origin mid 17th cent.: from caution, on the pattern of pairs such as ambition, ambitious.Extra examples He accused the government of being unduly cautious. He warned us to be cautious of accepting their statements as fact. Her experiences have made her cautious. What’s made you so suddenly cautious? cautious about spending money They’ve taken a very cautious approach.