SKIP TO CONTENT

circumspection

Circumspection is the quality of being cautious and prudent. If you don't immediately get excited about a party invitation, instead taking some time to consider whether you want to go, that's your circumspection in action.

Circumspection is generally a good characteristic, keeping people from making bad decisions. Your friend's circumspection makes her a great source of advice, someone you can trust to provide a considered opinion after a lot of thought. But circumspection can also slow you down if it means you're always scared of making a mistake. This word is rooted in the Latin circumspicere, "to look around."

Definitions of circumspection
  1. noun
    the trait of being circumspect and prudent
    synonyms: caution
    see moresee less
    types:
    precaution
    the trait of practicing caution in advance
    chariness, wariness
    the trait of being cautious and watchful
    type of:
    discernment, discretion
    the trait of judging wisely and objectively
  2. noun
    knowing how to avoid embarrassment or distress
    synonyms: discreetness, discretion, prudence
    see moresee less
    types:
    confidentiality
    discretion in keeping secret information
    type of:
    discernment, judgement, judgment, sagaciousness, sagacity
    the mental ability to understand and discriminate between relations
Word Family
EDITOR’S CHOICE

Test prep from the experts

Boost your test score with programs developed by Vocabulary.com’s experts.

  • Proven methods: Learn faster, remember longer with our scientific approach.
  • Personalized plan: We customize your experience to maximize your learning.
  • Strategic studying: Focus on the words that are most crucial for success.

SAT/PSAT

$29.95
  • Number of words: 500+
  • Duration: 8 weeks or less
  • Time: 1 hour / week

TOEFL

$29.95
  • Number of words: 500+
  • Duration: 10 weeks or less
  • Time: 1 hour / week

ACT

$29.95
  • Number of words: 700+
  • Duration: 10 weeks
  • Time: 1 hour / week