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Legal Dictionary

caveat lector

Definition of caveat lector

Etymology

Proverb

caveat lector

  1. Reader beware.

Usage notes

  • This proverb is usually applied specifically, such as to suggest that a given text has inaccuracies or is biased.

Related terms

See also

  • if you believe everything you read, better not to read
  • take with a grain of salt

Further reading

Caveat lector is a Latin phrase meaning "Let the reader beware."

The phrase is used in written English in two distinct ways:

  • it warns the reader that a passage may be erroneous in its details, but not in the general idea. The writer is at pains here to ensure the reader knows the possibility of mistakes in the work
  • it warns the reader that a passage may be problematic in the general idea, e.g. misleading, rather than in the written details themselves

Examples

  • (first meaning) "XYZ store, at 1600 Main Street, said in the newspaper they are selling scooters for only $9.99. Caveat lector-the print was smudged and I may have got the address details wrong."
  • (second meaning) "XYZ store said in the newspaper they're selling scooters for only $9.99. Caveat lector-they don't mention that you have to pay extra for the wheels."

References:

  1. Wiktionary. Published under the Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License.



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