What does cautionary mean?

Definitions for cautionary
ˈkɔ ʃəˌnɛr icau·tion·a·ry

This dictionary definitions page includes all the possible meanings, example usage and translations of the word cautionary.

Princeton's WordNet

  1. cautionary, prophylacticadjective

    warding off

    "the swastika...a very ancient prophylactic symbol occurring among all peoples"- Victor Schultze

  2. admonitory, cautionary, exemplary, monitory, warning(a)adjective

    serving to warn

    "shook a monitory finger at him"; "an exemplary jail sentence"


  1. cautionaryadjective

    Serving to caution or warn; admonitory

  2. cautionaryadjective

    Serving to ward off; preventive

  3. cautionaryadjective

    Held as security or hostage

Samuel Johnson's Dictionary

  1. Cautionaryadjective

    Given as a pledge, or in security.

    Etymology: from caution.

    I am made the cautionary pledge,
    The gage and hostage of your keeping it. Thomas Southerne.

    Is there no security for the island of Britain? Has the enemy no cautionary towns and sea-ports, to give us for securing trade? Jonathan Swift.


  1. cautionary

    Cautionary refers to something that is intended to serve as a warning or to urge carefulness, often based on a negative experience or an unwanted outcome that could happen if precautionary measures are not adhered to. It generally encourages people to avoid making the same mistake or act as a deterrent.

Webster Dictionary

  1. Cautionaryadjective

    conveying a caution, or warning to avoid danger; as, cautionary signals

  2. Cautionaryadjective

    given as a pledge or as security

  3. Cautionaryadjective

    wary; cautious

How to pronounce cautionary?

How to say cautionary in sign language?


  1. Chaldean Numerology

    The numerical value of cautionary in Chaldean Numerology is: 4

  2. Pythagorean Numerology

    The numerical value of cautionary in Pythagorean Numerology is: 1

Examples of cautionary in a Sentence

  1. Jim Acosta:

    Congresswoman, let me ask you about something Harry Reid told me just before his passing in interviews this year. He said it’s time to get rid of the filibuster, he did issue a cautionary warning about expanding the Supreme Court, so he was an institutionalist in many ways. But as somebody who, you know, practiced the art of the filibuster and so on as a Senate leader, at the end of his life, he was warning the country that this is standing in the way of important progress.

  2. Peter Kent:

    His ordeal is a cautionary tale to any investor who thinks the Cuban playing field is level.

  3. Art Caplan:

    This should never have happened, this is a cautionary tale.

  4. Michael Rippee:

    Kylee’s story is unique as a cautionary tale— as the athlete who says they’re better, but they’re not.

  5. Deutsche Bank analyst Paul Trussell:

    With a superior business model, in our view, that is half high-end department store, 30 percent off-price, and 20 percent online, this level of deceleration is a potential cautionary tale of the U.S. consumer's health.

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Translations for cautionary

From our Multilingual Translation Dictionary

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"cautionary." Definitions.net. STANDS4 LLC, 2024. Web. 25 Jun 2024. <https://www.definitions.net/definition/cautionary>.

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    property that provides tax income for local governments
    A rateables
    B apex
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