caution

(redirected from cautioning)
Also found in: Dictionary, Thesaurus, Legal, Encyclopedia.

caution (one) about (someone or something)

To warn one about someone or something. My mom always cautions me about the dangers of texting while driving. You need to caution him about Allie before he falls prey to her usual tricks.
See also: caution

throw caution to the wind(s)

To abandon one's cautiousness in order to take a risk. You can't live life completely reserved, you know. You've got to throw caution to the wind every now and then. After my father won a bit of money at the race tracks, he began throwing caution to the winds and gambling everything we had there.
See also: caution, throw

err on the side of caution

To avoid risky or irresponsible behavior. I like to err on the side of caution and always keep some money in my savings account. Since we don't know where we're going, let's err on the side of caution and leave an hour early. When do scientists predict lava will erupt from this volcano again?
See also: caution, err, of, on, side

caution someone about someone or something

 and caution someone against someone or something
to warn someone against someone or something. Haven't I cautioned you about that before? Hasn't someone cautioned you about Daniel?
See also: caution

throw caution to the wind

Cliché to become very careless. Jane, who is usually cautious, threw caution to the wind and went swimming in the ocean. I don't mind taking a little chance now and then, but I'm not the type of person who throws caution to the wind.
See also: caution, throw, wind

throw caution to the winds

Also, throw discretion to the winds. Behave or speak very rashly, as in Throwing caution to the winds, he ran after the truck, or I'm afraid she's thrown discretion to the winds and told everyone about the divorce. This expression uses to the winds in the sense of "utterly vanishing" or "out of existence," a usage dating from the mid-1600s. The first recorded use of throw to the winds was in 1885.
See also: caution, throw, wind

err on the side of caution

COMMON If you err on the side of caution, you decide to act in a careful way, rather than take risks. It is better on your first few weights sessions to err on the side of caution, and start with a weight which is lighter than you think you can handle. Note: People use other words instead of caution, according to the subject they are discussing. When I discussed the matter with ministers in July I said that we should err on the side of generosity.
See also: caution, err, of, on, side

throw caution to the wind

or

throw caution to the winds

COMMON If you throw caution to the wind or throw caution to the winds, you do something without worrying about the risks and danger involved. Perhaps I should throw caution to the wind, give up my job and just go travelling. This was no time to think, he decided. He threw caution to the winds and rang the bell of the ground-floor flat.
See also: caution, throw, wind
References in periodicals archive ?
DCI Paul Moore, from Cheshire Police, said: "It is difficult to be prescriptive in relation to the general cautioning of offenders, as each case is assessed on its merits.
Let's stop all this cautioning business - don't get me wrong, I don't want to see people unnecessarily getting criminal records, but when they are genuinely guilty of an offence and one the public would consider to be serious, they should be brought to court.
It is one of the most serious offences in the land and we have real concerns that cautioning is dangerous and in cases where consent is clearly never given introducing cautioning places women in grave danger.
The Association of Chief Police Officers said rape was excluded from those offences for which it issued advice on cautioning.
West Midlands Police said cautioning was carried out in line with Home Office guidelines and was not intended as a "let off".
It is one of the most serious offences and we have real concerns that cautioning is dangerous and in cases where consent is clearly never given introducing cautioning places women in grave danger.
Last night, Wolverhampton councillor John Mellor (Con Graiseley), who is a retired police superintendent, said: "With serious crimes such as arson, it is extremely difficult to find a reason for cautioning.
West Midlands Police said cautioning was carried out in line with Home Office guidelines, and in a statement, the force said: "A caution is not intended to be a let off and it means people can be put before the courts if they offend again.
It also dismissed the findings of a previous study which said restorative cautioning had been a success, suggesting its good results were down to police making extra effort because researchers were present.
The authors of the report looked at restorative justice schemes in the Thames Valley and compared them with traditional cautioning schemes in Sussex and Warwickshire.