Dictionary > English Dictionary > Definition, synonym and antonym of careful
Meaning of careful by Wiktionary Dictionary


    Alternative forms


    From Middle English careful, from Old English carful, ċearful ( “careful, anxious, curious, troubled” ), equivalent to care +‎ -ful .


    • ( UK ) IPA: /ˈkɛːfəl/


    careful ( comparative more careful, superlative most careful )

    1. ( obsolete ) Full of care or grief; sorrowful, sad.
    2. ( obsolete ) Full of cares or anxiety; worried, troubled.
    3. Having care ( for ); attentive to potential danger, error or harm; cautious .
      He was a slow and careful driver .
    4. Conscientious and painstaking; meticulous .
      They made a careful search of the crimescene .


    • See also Wikisaurus:cautious
    • See also Wikisaurus:meticulous


    Derived terms

    • carefully

Explanation of careful by Wordnet Dictionary


    1. exercising caution or showing care or attention

    2. 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
    3. unhurried and with care and dignity

    4. mindful of the future in spending money

    5. careful with money
    6. cautiously attentive

    7. careful of her feelings
    8. full of cares or anxiety

    9. Thou art careful and troubled about many things-Luke 10.41

    Definition of careful by GCIDE Dictionary


    1. Careful ( kârfl ), a. [AS. cearful.]
      1. Full of care; anxious; solicitous. [Archaic]

      Be careful [Rev. Ver. “anxious”] for nothing. Phil. iv. 6.

      The careful plowman doubting stands. Milton.

      2. Filling with care or solicitude; exposing to concern, anxiety, or trouble; painful.

      The careful cold beginneth for to creep. Spenser.

      By Him that raised me to this careful height. Shak.

      3. Taking care; giving good heed; watchful; cautious; provident; not indifferent, heedless, or reckless; -- often followed by of, for, or the infinitive; as, “careful of money; careful to do right”.

      Thou hast been careful for us with all this care. 2. Kings iv, 13.

      What could a careful father more have done? Dryden.

      Syn. -- Anxious; solicitous; provident; thoughtful; cautious; circumspect; heedful; watchful; vigilant.