\ ˈlir-ē How to pronounce leery (audio) \
variants: or less commonly

Definition of leery

: suspicious, wary often used with ofleery 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 There is tension between gathering enough data to understand the extent of the rollout and the possibility that asking for too much information will scare away people who are already leery of the vaccine. Caroline Chen, ProPublica, "Vaccinating Black Americans Is Essential. Key States Aren’t Doing the Work to Combat Hesitancy," 18 Dec. 2020 Cooper would be leery of any trainer selling nutritional supplements, which many do through multilevel marketing companies. Washington Post, "Personal trainer certification: What to look for when hiring an instructor," 2 Dec. 2020 Hypnosis is no longer considered crazy in the medical field, doctors say, but many patients, like Ms. Cutler, still are leery. Betsy Morris, WSJ, "Alexa, Hypnotize Me," 28 Dec. 2020 The heightened scrutiny may also discourage clients leery of dealing with the uncertainty. Bloomberg.com, "How Chinese Chip Giant SMIC Can Evade Trump’s Newest Crackdown," 22 Dec. 2020 While lenders anticipate heavy demand for the new loans, some borrowers remain leery. New York Times, "Relief Deal Would Give Small Businesses a Shot at a Second Loan," 21 Dec. 2020 Some administrators are leery about what the name, image and likeness world is going to look like and genuinely fearful about what college sports will become if players get paid. Dan Wolken, USA TODAY, "Opinion: With Supreme Court, Congress poised to act, 2021 could be historic year for NCAA," 16 Dec. 2020 Some public health leaders nevertheless remain leery of the heavy reliance on multibillion-dollar corporations whose primary duty is to their shareholders, especially as the full scope of the companies’ vaccine distribution work remains secret. Noam N. Levey Staff Writer, Los Angeles Times, "COVID-19 vaccine rollout relies heavily on pharmacy giants CVS and Walgreens," 4 Dec. 2020 Seeing friends and family can be fraught with danger, and many still feel leery about interacting with strangers at restaurants, hotels and attractions that have just started reopening to the public. oregonlive, "How to vacation during the pandemic: 4 day trips to 4 ecosystems in the Pacific Northwest," 30 Aug. 2020

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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Time Traveler for leery

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The first known use of leery was in 1718

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Last Updated

22 Jan 2021

Cite this Entry

“Leery.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/leery. Accessed 22 Jan. 2021.

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More Definitions for leery


How to pronounce leery (audio)

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

More from Merriam-Webster on leery

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for leery

Nglish: Translation of leery for Spanish Speakers

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