prudent (adj.)

late 14c., "wise, discerning, judicious," from Old French prudent "with knowledge, deliberate" (c. 1300) and directly from Latin prudentem (nominative prudens) "knowing, skilled, sagacious, circumspect;" rarely in literal sense "foreseeing;" contraction of providens, present participle of providere "look ahead, prepare, supply, act with foresight," from pro "ahead" (see pro-) + videre "to see" (from PIE root *weid- "to see").

The sense gradually grew to emphasize the notions of "discreet, circumspect; careful of self-interest." As a noun, "wise ones, skillful ones," late 14c. Related: Prudently.

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Definitions of prudent from WordNet

prudent (adj.)
careful and sensible; marked by sound judgment;
prudent rulers
a prudent manager
prudent hesitation
more prudent to hide than to fight