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.]
prudence (prdns) n.
The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fifth Edition copyright ©2022 by HarperCollins Publishers. All rights reserved.
Indo-European & Semitic Roots Appendices
Thousands of entries in the dictionary include etymologies that trace their origins back to reconstructed proto-languages. You can obtain more information about these forms in our online appendices:
The Indo-European appendix covers nearly half of the Indo-European roots that have left their mark on English words. A more complete treatment of Indo-European roots and the English words derived from them is available in our Dictionary of Indo-European Roots.