cautionary

When something is cautionary, it’s meant to be a warning to you. Your parents might be fond of telling cautionary tales, like the one about the girl who got electrocuted sticking a knife into the toaster.

While driving, look for cautionary signs warning you of potential danger: falling rocks, kids crossing, hidden driveway. You might use cautionary words: “Watch your step! There’s glass all over the floor!” Don’t confuse cautionary with cautious, which means trying to avoid danger. Tell a cautionary tale about someone drowning because he swam too far out into the ocean and an overly cautious kid might decide never to swim again.

Definitions of cautionary
1

adj serving to warn

Synonyms:
admonitory, exemplary, monitory, warning
dissuasive
deterring from action

adj warding off

Synonyms:
prophylactic
protective
intended or adapted to afford protection of some kind

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