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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

be careful not to (do something)

Proceed cautiously, in an attempt to avoid potential problems or pitfalls. This phrase is often said as a warning or instruction. I was careful not to make any noise as I crept into the house after curfew. As you plan your talk, be careful not to bore the audience with scientific terms they won't understand. This plate is very hot—be careful not to burn yourself.
See also: careful, not

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

careful not to do something

using care to avoid some difficulty or difficulties. Please be careful not to discuss politics with Mr. Brown. Please be careful not to leave the house unlocked.
See also: careful, not

careful (with something)

treating or handling something with caution. Please be careful with the vase. It's old and valuable. That's too big a load. Be careful!

If you can't be good, be careful.

Prov. If you are going to do immoral things, make sure they are not dangerous.; If you are going to do something immoral, make sure to keep it secret. (Sometimes used as a flippant way of saying good-bye.) Be a good girl on your vacation trip. Or if you can't be good, be careful. Ernest likes to close his letters with, "If you can't be good, be careful."
See also: careful, if

you can’t be too ˈcareful

used to warn somebody that they should be careful to avoid danger or problems: Don’t stay out in the sun for too long — you can’t be too careful.
See also: careful
References in classic literature ?
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.
Pickwick said at the time, my Lord,' replied Sam; 'and I was wery careful o' that 'ere suit o' clothes; wery careful indeed, my Lord.
David explained: "My golf 'aint great and my first shot went straight into the rough quite far, and I started walking in and Andrew went, 'Be careful of the snakes.
Be Careful What You Wish For is the unabridged audiobook rendition of a new novel in the "Clifton Chronicles" saga of the wealthy yet sometimes troubled Clifton family.
Power cuts caused by striking electricity company (EAC) workers trapped dozens in elevators on Tuesday, as police urged the public to be extra careful when approaching traffic lights that were out of order.
Be Careful Be careful what you say Be careful what you think We all do it everyday And it lands us in trouble It's been a great harvest The apples and pears Let's paint the stairs and doors Before the leaves fall off It's cost us a lot for holidays And some dreams fail The teenagers have the gadgets And the magic words It's their world now With sheep and cows The price of food has shot up And who will pay the bills It's still a wonderful world If you believe it And we all like a treat And beautiful feet The rain has stopped now And the shoeboxes are away All the words have been said So let's go to bed and dream About September and October KENNETH MOOD, Swalwell, Gateshead
IN REPLY to careful driver (Letters, June 14) regards parking of cars on Lamb Hall Road, Longwood.
No matter what country we call home or what language we speak, I Love You, Be Careful - a picture book that is also designed to be a gift book for adults and children alike - shares these word that follow us our entire lives.
Among these careful drivers, 69% say that they are most cautious about staying within the speed limit and maintaining a safe distance with other vehicles.
Being very careful place a sauce pan on a medium heat, add your double cream and gently simmer.
Erdogan Says Israel Should Be Very Careful When It Addresses Turkey
MOTORISTS are being warned to be extremely careful on the roads in the next few days as icy conditions head our way.
Just as frequently, careful analyses of how, why, and when the status quo was put into place is not known or is not overtly articulated; and groups sometimes end up proposing a return to past visited failure as a result of not carefully determining how the present system came to be the way it is.
After establishing a topographical map and procedure to follow step-by-step, careful rests were scheduled.