be·​ware | \ bi-ˈwer, 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

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.
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Recent Examples on the Web

Cut a slit in the latex with scissors (beware your neck, though!), and fill the slit with blush, red makeup, and fake blood. Zoë Weiner, Teen Vogue, "The Scariest Halloween Makeup Tutorials," 8 Oct. 2018 But followers beware, says nutrition researcher Michelle Harvie. Mark Barna, Discover Magazine, "Not So Fast," 24 Sep. 2018 Wochit Motorcyclists beware: This is the second-worst time of the year for deer running into traffic on Wisconsin's roads and highways. Joe Taschler, Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, "This is the second-worst time of year for deer accidents. Motorcyclists are particularly vulnerable, and body shops are busy.," 30 May 2018 White-knuckle travelers beware: The airports below are notorious for their tricky, and oftentimes terrifying, runways. Amanda Greene, Woman's Day, "10 Terrifying Airport Runways," 27 Apr. 2011 Very young kids might beware, there is one gnarly scene involving a kidney operation, not to mention the fact that Atari spends the entire film with a piece of scrap metal in his skull. Lindsey Bahr, kansascity, "Vibrant ‘Isle of Dogs’ is Wes Anderson at his whimsical best | The Kansas City Star," 5 Apr. 2018 Those severe warnings, dire predictions and danger — beware this is not good for your health — words don’t really work, according to Professor Leslie John of Harvard Business School. Neil Senturia,, "Why don't we heed risk warnings?," 9 July 2018 Get our daily newsletter Another reason to beware is the parties’ programmes. The Economist, "Italy’s populists are more dangerous than they seem," 17 May 2018 Those who hold the public’s offices and use them for their own personal gain and enrichment should beware. Tresa Baldas, Detroit Free Press, "Ex-Troy city manager Kischnick in trouble again; faces bribery charges," 6 July 2018

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.

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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"

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Statistics for beware

Last Updated

21 Dec 2018

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Time Traveler for beware

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

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More Definitions for beware



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 \

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.

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More from Merriam-Webster on beware

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with beware

Spanish Central: Translation of beware

Nglish: Translation of beware for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of beware for Arabic Speakers

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