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1. Careful or wise in handling practical matters; exercising good judgment or common sense: a prudent manager of money.
2. Characterized by or resulting from care or wisdom in practical matters or in planning for the future: a prudent investment.

[Middle English, from Old French, from Latin prūdēns, prūdent-, contraction of prōvidēns, present participle of prōvidēre, to provide for; see provide.]

pru′dence (pro͞od′ns) n.
pru′dent·ly adv.
American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fifth Edition. Copyright © 2016 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.


1. caution in practical affairs; discretion or circumspection
2. care taken in the management of one's resources
3. consideration for one's own interests
4. the condition or quality of being prudent
Collins English Dictionary – Complete and Unabridged, 12th Edition 2014 © HarperCollins Publishers 1991, 1994, 1998, 2000, 2003, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2011, 2014


(ˈprud ns)

1. the quality or fact of being prudent.
2. wisdom with regard to practical matters.
3. cautiousness; circumspection.
4. provident care in the management of resources; economy.
Random House Kernerman Webster's College Dictionary, © 2010 K Dictionaries Ltd. Copyright 2005, 1997, 1991 by Random House, Inc. All rights reserved.


 of vicars: vicars collectivelyBk. of St. Albans, 1486.
Dictionary of Collective Nouns and Group Terms. Copyright 2008 The Gale Group, Inc. All rights reserved.
ThesaurusAntonymsRelated WordsSynonymsLegend:
Noun1.prudence - discretion in practical affairs
natural virtue - (scholasticism) one of the four virtues (prudence, justice, fortitude, and temperance) derived from nature
discernment, discretion - the trait of judging wisely and objectively; "a man of discernment"
providence - the prudence and care exercised by someone in the management of resources
frugality, frugalness - prudence in avoiding waste
imprudence - a lack of caution in practical affairs
2.prudence - knowing how to avoid embarrassment or distress; "the servants showed great tact and discretion"
sagaciousness, sagacity, discernment, judgement, judgment - the mental ability to understand and discriminate between relations
confidentiality - discretion in keeping secret information
Based on WordNet 3.0, Farlex clipart collection. © 2003-2012 Princeton University, Farlex Inc.


1. caution, care, discretion, vigilance, wariness, circumspection, canniness, heedfulness He urged prudence rather than haste on any new resolution.
2. wisdom, common sense, good sense, good judgment, sagacity, judiciousness acting with prudence and judgement
3. thrift, economy, planning, saving, precaution, foresight, providence, preparedness, good management, husbandry, frugality, forethought, economizing, far-sightedness, careful budgeting A lack of prudence may lead to financial problems.
"I would rather worry without need than live without heed" [Beaumarchais The Barber of Seville]
"Prudence is a rich, ugly, old maid courted by incapacity" [William Blake Proverbs of Hell]
"Take care of the pennies and the pounds will look after themselves"
"A stitch in time saves nine"
"Waste not, want not"
Collins Thesaurus of the English Language – Complete and Unabridged 2nd Edition. 2002 © HarperCollins Publishers 1995, 2002


1. The exercise of good judgment or common sense in practical matters:
2. Careful use of material resources:
The American Heritage® Roget's Thesaurus. Copyright © 2013, 2014 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.
تَعَقُّل، تَبَصُّر، حِكْمَه، حَصافَه
skynsemi, fyrirhyggja


[ˈpruːdəns] Nprudencia f
Collins Spanish Dictionary - Complete and Unabridged 8th Edition 2005 © William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1971, 1988 © HarperCollins Publishers 1992, 1993, 1996, 1997, 2000, 2003, 2005


[ˈpruːdəns] nprudence f
Collins English/French Electronic Resource. © HarperCollins Publishers 2005


n (of person)Umsicht f; (of measure, action, decision)Klugheit f; (of answer)Überlegtheit f; simple prudence should have made you stopder gesunde Menschenverstand hätte Sie davon abbringen müssen
Collins German Dictionary – Complete and Unabridged 7th Edition 2005. © William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1980 © HarperCollins Publishers 1991, 1997, 1999, 2004, 2005, 2007


[ˈpruːdns] nprudenza
Collins Italian Dictionary 1st Edition © HarperCollins Publishers 1995


(ˈpruːdənt) adjective
wise and careful. a prudent person/attitude.
ˈprudently adverb
ˈprudence noun
wisdom and caution.
Kernerman English Multilingual Dictionary © 2006-2013 K Dictionaries Ltd.
References in classic literature ?
What right have I to write on Prudence, whereof I have Little, and that of the negative sort?
Miss Bridget Allworthy (for that was the name of this lady) very rightly conceived the charms of person in a woman to be no better than snares for herself, as well as for others; and yet so discreet was she in her conduct, that her prudence was as much on the guard as if she had all the snares to apprehend which were ever laid for her whole sex.
Disposed, however, as he always is to think the best of everyone, her display of grief, and professions of regret, and general resolutions of prudence, were sufficient to soften his heart and make him really confide in her sincerity; but, as for myself, I am still unconvinced, and plausibly as her ladyship has now written, I cannot make up my mind till I better understand her real meaning in coming to us.
But she could hear of no situation that at once answered her notions of comfort and ease, and suited the prudence of her eldest daughter, whose steadier judgment rejected several houses as too large for their income, which her mother would have approved.
In spite of his prudence, D'Artagnan restrained himself with great difficulty from taking a part in the scene that was going on below.
His foibles - faults if you like - will never be dwelt upon in any memorandum of mine," he declares, and goes on - "he whose splendid and matchless achievements will be remembered with admiration while there is gratitude in the hearts of Britons, or while a ship floats upon the ocean; he whose example on the breaking out of the war gave so chivalrous an impulse to the younger men of the service that all rushed into rivalry of daring which disdained every warning of prudence, and led to acts of heroic enterprise which tended greatly to exalt the glory of our nation."
An earthly virtue is it which I love: little prudence is therein, and the least everyday wisdom.
Their prudence, unanimity, unacquaintedness with fear, and their love of their country, would amply supply all defects in the military art.
Under this alternative, the advice of prudence must be to embrace the lesser evil; and, instead of indulging a fruitless anticipation of the possible mischiefs which may ensue, to contemplate rather the advantageous consequences which may qualify the sacrifice.
The veteran soon caused this set of patriotic disinterestedness to be followed by another of private munificence, that, however little it accorded with prudence, was in perfect conformity with the simple integrity of his own views.
Who can but admire this quality of gratitude in an unprotected orphan; and, if there entered some degree of selfishness into her calculations, who can say but that her prudence was perfectly justifiable?
The only happy marriages I know are marriages of prudence."