un·​wary | \ ˌən-ˈwer-ē How to pronounce unwary (audio) \

Definition of unwary

: not alert : easily fooled or surprised : heedless, gullible cheats unwary tourists

Other Words from unwary

unwarily \ ˌən-​ˈwer-​ə-​lē How to pronounce unwary (audio) \ adverb
unwariness \ ˌən-​ˈwer-​ē-​nəs How to pronounce unwary (audio) \ noun

Examples of unwary in a Sentence

The fast-moving tide sometimes surprises unwary swimmers. e-mail scams that take advantage of unwary computer users
Recent Examples on the Web The revolution was overseen by pragmatic, opportunistic and sometimes mendacious visitors, who variously travelled with their own concubines and caught unwary abbots with theirs. Crawford Gribben, WSJ, 29 Apr. 2022 While the Pegasus glitch was a curiosity among speedrunners at first, the community soon found ways to fly their horse into certain boss areas in unexpected ways and defeat the unwary foes easily. Kyle Orland, Ars Technica, 11 Apr. 2022 Terrible, tentacle-waving trees snatched and swallowed unwary travelers in far-off lands. Stephanie Pain, Smithsonian Magazine, 9 Mar. 2022 Didn’t know that bitcoin, NFTs, SPACs and meme stocks were destined, even designed, to take unwary investors to the cleaners? Michael Hiltzik, Los Angeles Times, 26 Dec. 2021 But this method can still be dangerous, with the potential for the butt of the tree (the part closest to the ground) to launch up backwards, injuring or even killing an unwary tree feller. Roy Berendsohn, Popular Mechanics, 11 Nov. 2021 Even in daylight, the environ here seems untrustworthy, a trap for unwary, vulnerable humans. Dennis Harvey, Variety, 27 Oct. 2021 Yet this path is laden with huge challenges and fraught with dangers that await the unwary and unprepared. Thomas Lim, Forbes, 30 Aug. 2021 Keep cats indoors, especially at this time, when unwary youngsters are trying their wings. Val Cunningham Special To The Star Tribune, Star Tribune, 8 June 2021 See More

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'unwary.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

First Known Use of unwary

1579, in the meaning defined above

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Last Updated

8 May 2022

Cite this Entry

“Unwary.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/unwary. Accessed 23 May. 2022.

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More Definitions for unwary


un·​wary | \ ˌən-ˈwer-ē How to pronounce unwary (audio) \
unwarier; unwariest

Kids Definition of unwary

: easily fooled or surprised unwary buyers

More from Merriam-Webster on unwary

Nglish: Translation of unwary for Spanish Speakers


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