be·​ware | \ bi-ˈwer How to pronounce beware (audio) , bē- \

Definition of beware

intransitive verb

: to be on one's guard beware of the dog

transitive verb

1 : to take care of beware your wallet
2 : to be wary of we must … beware the exceedingly tenuous generalization— Matthew Lipman

Keep scrolling for more

Examples of beware in a Sentence

A ghostly voice cried “Beware!”. He told them to beware. The restaurant's food is excellent, but beware the chili if you don't like spicy food.
See More
Recent Examples on the Web Jefferson County sheriff’s officials are issuing a strong warning to grandparents to beware of a recent scam targeting them. Carol Robinson |, al, "New scam in Jefferson County has cost some grandparents thousands," 10 Sep. 2020 Google announced a new kids initiative with videos, books and apps on upcoming Lenovo tablets, but parents beware — the content will be full of ads. Jefferson Graham, USA TODAY, "Google finds a new way to serve ads to kids on upcoming Lenovo tablets," 31 Aug. 2020 About 20 minutes after, forecasters warned responders to beware of a rare fire tornado near Roberts Canyon. Fox News, "Fire tornado warning grips California as wildfire explodes with 'extremely dangerous' conditions north of Tahoe," 16 Aug. 2020 And beware Tiger Woods at the season's first major. Patrick Snell And Ben Morse, CNN, "Bryson DeChambeau snaps driver during PGA Championship opening round," 7 Aug. 2020 The good thing about this one is that there is no limit on how many friends can join in on this costume – just beware of the claw. Editors, Seventeen, "44 Easy Disney Halloween Costumes That Will Make You Cry Tears of Nostalgia," 29 July 2020 Water flossing is a popular alternative but beware, nothing is as effective as the original string. Emy Rodriguez Flores, Redbook, "Here's How Often/How Long You Really Need To Brush and Floss Your Teeth," 4 Oct. 2019 But beware the communal campground bathroom (more on that below). Courtney Shea,, "Before You Plan Your Summer Road Trip, Read This," 13 July 2020 Ukraine is looking for a new central banker, but applicants beware. David L. Stern, Washington Post, "Ukraine’s bank chief quit and coffin left as warning. It’s a scandal that threatens the country’s economic health.," 11 July 2020

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'beware.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

See More

First Known Use of beware

13th century, in the meaning defined at intransitive sense

History and Etymology for beware

Middle English been war, from been "to be" + war "cognizant, ware entry 1"

Keep scrolling for more

Learn More about beware

Time Traveler for beware

Time Traveler

The first known use of beware was in the 13th century

See more words from the same century

Statistics for beware

Last Updated

17 Sep 2020

Cite this Entry

“Beware.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 20 Sep. 2020.

Keep scrolling for more

More Definitions for beware


How to pronounce beware (audio)

English Language Learners Definition of beware

: to be careful : to act in a way that shows you know that there may be danger or trouble


be·​ware | \ bi-ˈwer How to pronounce beware (audio) \

Kids Definition of beware

: to be cautious or careful beware of the dog He told them to beware.
Hint: Beware is used only in the forms beware or to beware.

More from Merriam-Webster on beware

Nglish: Translation of beware for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of beware for Arabic Speakers

Comments on beware

What made you want to look up beware? Please tell us where you read or heard it (including the quote, if possible).


Test Your Vocabulary

Homophone Quiz

  • three bears two of them look like theyre whispering to a third bear who looks chuffed to be the center of attention
  • In order to judge how people felt, the senator's office hired a firm to take a ______.
Spell It

Can you spell these 10 commonly misspelled words?

Syn City

Test Your Knowledge - and learn some interesting things along the way.

Love words? Need even more definitions?

Subscribe to America's largest dictionary and get thousands more definitions and advanced search—ad free!