From Wiktionary, the free dictionary
Jump to navigation Jump to search
See also: Prudence


English Wikipedia has an article on:


From Middle English prudence, from Old French prudence, from Latin prūdentia, alternative form of prōvidentia.


  • IPA(key): /ˈpɹuːdəns/
  • Hyphenation: pru‧dence
  • (file)


prudence (countable and uncountable, plural prudences)

  1. The quality or state of being prudent
    Synonyms: discretion, carefulness
    • a. 1677, Matthew Hale, The Primitive Origination of Mankind, Considered and Examined According to the Light of Nature, London: [] William Godbid, for William Shrowsbery, [], published 1677, →OCLC:
      Prudence, which is principally in reference to actions to be done, the due means, order, season, method of doing or not doing
    • 1777, Richard Brinsley Sheridan, The School for Scandal, IV.iii:
      Prudence like experience must be paid for—
    • 1841 February–November, Charles Dickens, “Barnaby Rudge”, in Master Humphrey’s Clock, volume III, London: Chapman & Hall, [], →OCLC, chapter 41:
      Mrs Varden approved of this meek and forgiving spirit in high terms, and incidentally declared as a closing article of agreement, that Dolly should accompany her to the Clerkenwell branch of the association, that very night. This was an extraordinary instance of her great prudence and policy; having had this end in view from the first, and entertaining a secret misgiving that the locksmith (who was bold when Dolly was in question) would object, she had backed Miss Miggs up to this point, in order that she might have him at a disadvantage.
    • 1845, William Whewell, The Elements of Morality: Including Polity:
      Prudence supposes the value of the end to be assumed, and refers only to the adaptation of the means. It is the selection of right means for given ends
    • 1960 August, R. K. Evans, “Railway Modernisation in Spain”, in Trains Illustrated, page 494:
      With 3,600 h.p. underfoot, acceleration was reasonably brisk, but the flickering wheel-slip indicator light showed the prudence of not putting full power through the traction motors while there were traces of early-morning dampness on the rails.
  2. Economy; frugality.



Related terms[edit]






From Latin prūdentia, contrasting from prōvidentia. See prudent, and compare providence.



prudence f (plural prudences)

  1. prudence, caution, care

Derived terms[edit]

Related terms[edit]

Further reading[edit]