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From Proto-Indo-European *skeue (to perceive, pay attention), see also Sanskrit कवि (kavi, wise, poet, seer, sage), Lithuanian kavoti (safeguard, tend), Armenian ցուցանեմ (cʿucʿanem, I show), English show.



present active caveō, present infinitive cavēre, perfect active cāvī, supine cautum

  1. I beware, avoid, take care.
    Caveat emptor.
    May the buyer beware.
  2. I am aware of; guard against, prevent.
  3. (law) I take care for, order, decree, stipulate.
  4. (with ab) I procure bail or surety from.
  5. I make someone secure by bail or surety; pledge.


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Usage notes[edit]

The primary sense ("beware") may either govern a noun in the accusative or a second verb in the subjunctive, with in between caveō and the next verb, with the meaning "beware lest ...". However, some writers, especially in poetry, may drop the in this construction.


  • caveo” in Charlton T. Lewis & Charles Short, A Latin Dictionary, Oxford: Clarendon Press, 1879.