Simple Definition of wary
: not having or showing complete trust in someone or something that could be dangerous or cause trouble
Examples of wary in a sentence
Great critics are sometimes wary of great authors. Eliot and Pound usually sidled past Shakespeare. —William Logan, New York Times Book Review, 11 Feb. 2001
Though sycamore wood was much used, pioneers were wary of the tree's fuzzy leaves, which they believed brought allergies and even consumption. —Arthur Plotnik, The Urban Tree Book: An Uncommon Field Guide for City and Town, 2000
Modern literary novelists … wary of neat solutions and happy endings, have tended to invest their mysteries with an aura of ambiguity and to leave them unresolved. —David Lodge, The Art of Fiction, 1992
The store owner kept a wary eye on him.
Investors are increasingly wary about putting money into stocks.
Origin of wary
1ware, from Middle English war, ware, from Old English wær careful, aware, wary; akin to Old High German giwar aware, attentive, Latin vereri to fear, Greek horan to see
First Known Use: 15th century
Synonym Discussion of wary
WARY Defined for Kids
Definition of wary for Students
: very cautious <The baker's worries about ogres and bandits I thought exaggerated … However, I was wary of strangers. — Gail Carson Levine, Ella Enchanted>
Seen and Heard
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