What does prudence mean?
Definitions for prudence
This dictionary definitions page includes all the possible meanings, example usage and translations of the word prudence.
discretion in practical affairs
discretion, discreetness, circumspection, prudencenoun
knowing how to avoid embarrassment or distress
"the servants showed great tact and discretion"
The quality or state of being prudent; wisdom in the way of caution and provision; discretion; carefulness; hence, also, economy; frugality.
A female given name from English, one of the Puritan virtue names.
Etymology: From prudence.
Samuel Johnson's Dictionary
Wisdom applied to practice.
Etymology: prudence, Fr. prudentia, Lat.
Under prudence is comprehended, that discrete, apt, suiting, and disposing as well of actions as words, in their due place, time and manner. Henry Peacham.
Prudence is principally in reference to actions to be done, and due means, order, season, and method of doing or not doing. Matthew Hale.
Prudence (Latin: prudentia, contracted from providentia meaning "seeing ahead, sagacity") is the ability to govern and discipline oneself by the use of reason. It is classically considered to be a virtue, and in particular one of the four Cardinal virtues (which are, with the three theological virtues, part of the seven virtues). Prudentia is an allegorical female personification of the virtue, whose attributes are a mirror and snake, who is frequently depicted as a pair with Justitia, the Roman goddess of Justice. The word derives from the 14th-century Old French word prudence, which, in turn, derives from the Latin prudentia meaning "foresight, sagacity". It is often associated with wisdom, insight, and knowledge. In this case, the virtue is the ability to judge between virtuous and vicious actions, not only in a general sense, but with regard to appropriate actions at a given time and place. Although prudence itself does not perform any actions, and is concerned solely with knowledge, all virtues had to be regulated by it. Distinguishing when acts are courageous, as opposed to reckless or cowardly, is an act of prudence, and for this reason it is classified as a cardinal (pivotal) virtue. In modern English, the word has become increasingly synonymous with cautiousness. In this sense, prudence names a reluctance to take risks, which remains a virtue with respect to unnecessary risks, but, when unreasonably extended into over-cautiousness, can become the vice of cowardice. In the Nicomachean Ethics, Aristotle gives a lengthy account of the virtue phronesis (Ancient Greek: ϕρόνησις), traditionally translated as "prudence", although this has become increasingly problematic as the word has fallen out of common usage. More recently ϕρόνησις has been translated by such terms as "practical wisdom", "practical judgment" or "rational choice".
the quality or state of being prudent; wisdom in the way of caution and provision; discretion; carefulness; hence, also, economy; frugality
Prudence is the ability to govern and discipline oneself by the use of reason. It is classically considered to be a virtue, and in particular one of the four Cardinal virtues. The word comes from Old French prudence, from Latin prudentia. It is often associated with wisdom, insight, and knowledge. In this case, the virtue is the ability to judge between virtuous and vicious actions, not only in a general sense, but with regard to appropriate actions at a given time and place. Although prudence itself does not perform any actions, and is concerned solely with knowledge, all virtues had to be regulated by it. Distinguishing when acts are courageous, as opposed to reckless or cowardly, for instance, is an act of prudence, and for this reason it is classified as a cardinal virtue. Although prudence would be applied to any such judgment, the more difficult tasks, which distinguish a person as prudent, are those in which various goods have to be weighed against each other, as when a person is determining what would be best to give charitable donations, or how to punish a child so as to prevent repeating an offense.
The Foolish Dictionary, by Gideon Wurdz
A quality of mind that restrains the wise boarder from trying to find out how his landlady makes her hash.
Surnames Frequency by Census Records
According to the U.S. Census Bureau, Prudence is ranked #154907 in terms of the most common surnames in America.
The Prudence surname appeared 105 times in the 2010 census and if you were to sample 100,000 people in the United States, approximately 0 would have the surname Prudence.
72.3% or 76 total occurrences were White.
16.1% or 17 total occurrences were Black.
5.7% or 6 total occurrences were of Hispanic origin.
4.7% or 5 total occurrences were of two or more races.
The numerical value of prudence in Chaldean Numerology is: 2
The numerical value of prudence in Pythagorean Numerology is: 5
Examples of prudence in a Sentence
Do not trust all men, but trust men of worth; the former course is silly, the latter a mark of prudence.
Every day I live I am more convinced that the waste of life lies in the love we have not given, the powers we have not used, the selfish prudence that will risk nothing and which, shirking pain, misses happiness as well.
Budget monitors and rating agencies have all applauded this administration's fiscal prudence and focus on protecting against economic uncertainty – and investors agree.
Often a certain abdication of prudence and foresight is an element of success.
Affairs are easier of entrance than of exit and it is but common prudence to see our way out before we venture in.
Popularity rank by frequency of use
Translations for prudence
From our Multilingual Translation Dictionary
- Besonnenheit, Klugheit, UmsichtGerman
- harkitsevuus, varovaisuusFinnish
- gliocasScottish Gaelic
- благоразумность, осмотрительность, расчётливость, дальновидность, благоразумиеRussian
- thận trọngVietnamese
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