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Alternative forms[edit]


From Middle English careful, from Old English carful, ċearful (careful, anxious, curious, troubled), equivalent to care +‎ -ful.



careful (comparative more careful, superlative most careful)

  1. (obsolete) Full of care or grief; sorrowful, sad.
    • 1485, Sir Thomas Malory, Le Morte d’Arthur, Bk.V:
      ‘Alas,’ sayde Sir Cadore, ‘now carefull is myne herte that now lyeth dede my cosyn that I beste loved.’
  2. (obsolete) Full of cares or anxiety; worried, troubled.
    • 1590, Edmund Spenser, The Faerie Queene, III.1:
      Where through long watch, and late daies weary toile, / She soundly slept, and carefull thoughts did quite assoile.
  3. Having care (for); attentive to potential danger, error or harm; cautious.
    He was a slow and careful driver.
  4. Conscientious and painstaking; meticulous.
    They made a careful search of the crime scene.



Derived terms[edit]


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