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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 periodicals archive ?
Cleveland recounted these in the words of Byron Sunderland: "Of the propriety, integrity, and simplicity of his life, of his exceeding conscientiousness and carefulness and his modest shrinking from all self-assertion or ostentation, we all well know.
Softness and good taste, as well as restraint and carefulness, are the enemies of comedy, and "Horrible Bosses 2'' is a very funny movie.
Tackling the Ruwais car bomb issue, the Amal Deputy quoted Speaker Berri as highlighting the importance of awareness and carefulness among the Lebanese in order to avoid being dragged into strife.
The first saying advocates initiative and action, whereas the second saying supports the idea of patience and carefulness.
In Jain ethics, the great vow of ahimsa is understood first and foremost as a commitment to carefulness (cf.
Given the difficulty of the task, the amount of staff attempt, do the job properly and carefulness in job pay the fair compensation to employees
Occasionally, there was a scripted feel to her answers, a glimpse of her prim carefulness.
For all your carefulness, the instructions may have been open to more than one interpretation.
In addition, candidates undergo a work habits assessment which measures work-related attitudes, like carefulness, cooperation, discipline and drive -- all of which are highly trainable and coachable," said Tom Bodeep, Senior Vice President, TRC Staffing Services, Inc.
We stand by our responsibility, said, adding, however, that carefulness is even more important than speed.
That is, exogenous safety measures might not be offset by reductions in individual carefulness.
The candidate's general disposition and qualities denoting aptitude for the job, such as self-control, carefulness, psychological stability, and sense of responsibility as well as reflexes are also evaluated.
The rhetoric of property can easily encompass appeals to thrift and carefulness, attentiveness to overuse, and maintenance of a common stock.
Beneath his linguistic hesitancy or carefulness is the fear of appropriating God into a human system of the same nature, of affirming a "Gott mit uns" (God|is~ with us).
it follows that our duty lies in risking upon Christ's word what we have for what we have not; and doing so in a noble, generous way, not indeed rashly or lightly, still without knowing accurately what we are doing, not knowing either what we give up, nor again, what we shall gain; uncertain about our reward, uncertain about our extent of sacrifice, in all respects leaning, waiting upon him, trusting in him to enable us to fulfill our own vows, and so in all respects proceeding without carefulness or anxiety about the future.