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

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 CEOs beware: Surging stock prices have done little to placate activist investors. Cara Lombardo, WSJ, "Activist Investors Turn Up Heat in Drive for Returns," 12 July 2018 Buyer beware: The Wall Street Journal analyzed 1,450 cryptocurrency offerings. David Lazarus,, "California Inc.: From a galaxy far, far away ... heeere's Han!," 21 May 2018 While urging taxpayers to beware of potential scammers, Koskinen said the only people being contacted by the companies are taxpayers who had been contacted earlier by the IRS about overdue tax payments. Kevin Mccoy, USA TODAY, "IRS private debt-collection program hurts low-income Americans," 10 Jan. 2018 Their folk tales warn children to beware of long-haired strangers. The Economist, "From dusty villages to Delhi, Indians seek people to persecute," 5 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

12 Oct 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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Comments on beware

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