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

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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 The other teams — Iowa State, Cincinnati and Mississippi — should beware. Los Angeles Times, 5 Sep. 2021 As fantasy football draft day approaches, fantasy managers should beware of players who are in danger of underachieving. Cory Bonini, USA TODAY, 27 Aug. 2021 Whether an iCloud mix-up or an iTunes glitch, early adopters and heavy users should beware of Apple products not working with Apple products (or iTunes Store copy leaving out a note about hinkty little preferences boxes that need checking). Joshua Rothman, The New Yorker, 8 Aug. 2021 However, brands should beware of chasing the shiny object. Andrea Leigh, Forbes, 1 June 2021 But taxpayers should beware when legislators provide for automatic tax increases. The Editorial Board, WSJ, 8 Sep. 2020 Choose tomato varieties with broad, plentiful leaves and beware of overpruning your plants. Pam Peirce, San Francisco Chronicle, 3 Sep. 2021 Remains to be seen if this continues into the regular season, but beware fantasy owners. Nate Davis, USA TODAY, 30 Aug. 2021 Thus, the age-old adage which cautions to beware of wolves in sheep’s clothing should certainly apply to intelligent aliens. Bruce Dorminey, Forbes, 29 Aug. 2021

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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Learn More About beware

Time Traveler for beware

Time Traveler

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

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Statistics for beware

Last Updated

18 Sep 2021

Cite this Entry

“Beware.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 25 Sep. 2021.

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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 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


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