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. Peter Kent:

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

  2. Matt Ferchen:

    For the Caribbean and Central America, this is a cautionary lesson in the view that Chinese state-sponsored investment in tourism or other areas is in any way assured to be well-run or efficient.

  3. Michael Rippee:

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

  4. Jackie Chan:

    I hope that young people will see Jaycee as a cautionary tale and stay away from drugs, i failed to teach my son and I should also bear responsibility. Jaycee and I deeply bow in apology to society.

  5. Deputy Attorney General Lisa Marchese:

    Is there a cautionary tale here? Yes, it's a cautionary tale to everyone to be careful when you are using social media.

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Translations for cautionary

From our Multilingual Translation Dictionary

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"cautionary." Definitions.net. STANDS4 LLC, 2023. Web. 27 Sep. 2023. <https://www.definitions.net/definition/cautionary>.

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    the act of giving an account describing incidents or a course of events
    • A. recital
    • B. brasserie
    • C. snap
    • D. wavering

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