- 1[intransitive, transitive] to warn somebody about the possible dangers or problems of something caution against something I would caution against getting too involved. caution somebody against/about something Sam cautioned him against making a hasty decision. caution (somebody) that… The government cautioned that pay increases could lead to job losses. caution somebody to do something Employees were cautioned to be careful about what they said to people outside the company. caution (somebody) + speech ‘I’d take care if I were you,’ she cautioned (him).
- 2[transitive] caution somebody (British English, law) to warn somebody officially that anything they say may be used as evidence against them in court Suspects must be cautioned before any questions are asked.
- 3[transitive, usually passive] (British English, law) caution somebody (for something) to warn somebody officially that they will be punished if they do something wrong or illegal again She wasn't sent to the juvenile court; instead she was cautioned. See related entries: The police Word Origin Middle English (denoting bail or a guarantee; now chiefly Scots and US): from Latin cautio(n-), from cavere
BrE BrE//ˈkɔːʃn//; NAmE NAmE//ˈkɔːʃn//Verb Forms present simple I / you / we / they caution
BrE BrE//ˈkɔːʃn//; NAmE NAmE//ˈkɔːʃn//he / she / it cautions
BrE BrE//ˈkɔːʃnz//; NAmE NAmE//ˈkɔːʃnz//past simple cautioned
BrE BrE//ˈkɔːʃnd//; NAmE NAmE//ˈkɔːʃnd//past participle cautioned
BrE BrE//ˈkɔːʃnd//; NAmE NAmE//ˈkɔːʃnd//-ing form cautioning
BrE BrE//ˈkɔːʃnɪŋ//; NAmE NAmE//ˈkɔːʃnɪŋ//The police