Meaning of “cautionary” in the English Dictionary

English

"cautionary" in English

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cautionaryadjective

uk /ˈkɔː.ʃən.ər.i/ /ˈkɔː.ʃən.ri/ us /ˈkɑː.ʃən.er.i/ formal

Examples from literature

  • Cautionary day and night signals are displayed at the principal ports and harbors when dangerous winds or storms are anticipated. 
  • Happily, there was no need for the cautionary measure. 
  • His aunt once called him into her room, and with a cautionary frown on her brow, bade him go dance. 
  • The big hand slipped from my shoulder and became a cautionary signal to flag me down. 
  • This remark startled me, and I was prompted to make a cautionary observation. 

(Definition of “cautionary” from the Cambridge Advanced Learner’s Dictionary & Thesaurus © Cambridge University Press)