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From The Collaborative International Dictionary of English v.0.48:
Cautious \Cau"tious\, a. [Cf. L. cautus, fr. caver. See Caution.] Attentive to examine probable effects and consequences of acts with a view to avoid danger or misfortune; prudent; circumspect; wary; watchful; as, a cautious general. [1913 Webster] Cautious feeling for another's pain. --Byron. [1913 Webster] Be swift to hear; but cautious of your tongue. --Watts. Syn: Wary; watchful; vigilant; prudent; circumspect; discreet; heedful; thoughtful; scrupulous; anxious; careful. Usage: Cautious, Wary, Circumspect. A man is cautious who realizes the constant possibility of danger; one may be wary, and yet bold and active; a man who is circumspect habitually examines things on every side in order to weigh and deliberate. It is necessary to be cautious at all times; to be wary in cases of extraordinary danger; to be circumspect in matters of peculiar delicacy and difficulty. [1913 Webster]