Pru"dence (?), n. [F., fr. L. prudentia, contr. from providentia. See Prudent, and cf. Providence.]
The quality or state of being prudent; wisdom in the way of caution and provision; discretion; carefulness; hence, also, economy; frugality.
Prudence is principally in reference to actions to be done, and due means, order, seasons, and method of doing or not doing.
Sir M. Hale.
Prudence supposes the value of the end to be assumed, and refers only to the adaptation of the means. It is the relation of right means for given ends.
Syn. -- Wisdom; forecast; providence; considerateness; judiciousness; discretion; caution; circumspection; judgment. See Wisdom.
© Webster 1913.