be careful

Also found in: Acronyms.

be careful

To act cautiously. Usually issued as a warning. Be careful when you go out in the city at night. Be careful with that box—don't bang around my glassware! Be careful! Stay with the tour guide!
See also: careful

if you can't be good, be careful

If you can't stop yourself from behaving improperly, try to limit the degree of risk or danger involved. If you can't be good, be careful, OK? Please try not to get into too much trouble.
See also: careful, if
Farlex Dictionary of Idioms. © 2015 Farlex, Inc, all rights reserved.

Be careful

1. an instruction to take care in a particular situation. Bill: I'm going to the beach tomorrow. Sally: Be careful. Use lots of sunscreen! Jane: Well, we're off to the Amazon. Mary: Heavens! Be careful!
2. a way of saying good-bye while cautioning someone to take care. John: See you around, Fred. Fred: Be careful. Alice: Well, I'm off. John: Bye, Alice, be careful.
See also: careful
McGraw-Hill Dictionary of American Idioms and Phrasal Verbs. © 2002 by The McGraw-Hill Companies, Inc.
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References in classic literature ?
"Be careful what you do," he said; "if you do not kill yourself, you commit a ridiculous action; and if you were to kill yourself, you sprinkle blood upon the nuptial robe of the princess of England."
"Take your guns with you!" said the doctor; "take your guns, and be careful!"
'You had better be careful, Sir,' said the little judge, with a sinister look at the witness.
Skimpin, 'attend to me, if you please, Sir; and let me recommend you, for your own sake, to bear in mind his Lordship's injunctions to be careful. I believe you are a particular friend of Mr.
Hereupon there was a general laugh; and the little judge, looking with an angry countenance over his desk, said, 'You had better be careful, Sir.'
'But even in my personal life I have to be careful. I generally don't meet people at the house and I am careful about getting drunk and telling someone too much about myself.'
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