\ ˈlir-ē \
variants: or less commonly

Definition of leery

: suspicious, wary often used with of leery of strangersShe seemed a little leery of the proposal.

Examples of leery in a Sentence

They were leery of their neighbors.

Recent Examples on the Web

Even if the jobs claims are overblown, though, there are other economic factors that could make Trump leery of endangering the US-Saudi relationship, including oil prices. Emily Stewart, Vox, "“It’s not going to create or take away a single job”: Why Trump’s excuse on the Saudis doesn’t hold up," 21 Oct. 2018 Further opening the census to the internet also creates cybersecurity risks and could make Americans leery of responding online. Paul Overberg, WSJ, "For Next U.S. Census, Cameras in Space Replace Boots on the Ground," 10 Oct. 2018 Given that the market has gone so long without a major setback, investors may be leery about jumping back in right away. 4. Adam Shell, USA TODAY, "4 tips following the stock market's 666-point drop," 2 Feb. 2018 Advertisers, leery of controversy and of antagonizing the Governor, shunned the paper and took their chances with a Providence Journal monopoly, which purchased the StarTribune in a bankruptcy sale and then shuttered it within months. Richard E. Farley, Town & Country, "The Great American Racetrack War," 9 June 2017 Be leery of contractors who are willing to work without permits! Brett Martin, House Beautiful, "Here Are The 8 Interview Questions To Ask A Potential Contractor," 26 Dec. 2018 All the big platforms are leery of a patchwork of such regulations breaking out all over the country. Casey Newton, The Verge, "How China complicates Apple’s chest-thumping about privacy," 25 Oct. 2018 To the degree that many of these ideas imply a more activist government role, conservatives tend to be more leery. Neil Irwin, New York Times, "If the Robots Come for Our Jobs, What Should the Government Do?," 12 June 2018 Kightlinger said the biggest hangup was that most Central Valley Project contractors remained leery of the costs, even if Metropolitan was willing to pay them upfront. Ryan Sabalow And Dale Kasler, sacbee, "Southern California water agency backs off plan to finance both Delta tunnels," 3 Apr. 2018

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'leery.' 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 leery

1718, in the meaning defined above

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Statistics for leery

Last Updated

18 Jan 2019

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for leery

The first known use of leery was in 1718

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More Definitions for leery



English Language Learners Definition of leery

: feeling or showing a lack of trust in someone or something


\ ˈlir-ē\

Kids Definition of leery

: suspicious sense 2, wary … he was really a little leery of venturing out into New York City.— George Selden, The Cricket in Times Square

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More from Merriam-Webster on leery

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with leery

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for leery

Spanish Central: Translation of leery

Nglish: Translation of leery for Spanish Speakers

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