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

Definition of unwary

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

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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 condition also makes the bears unwary of humans, posing a threat to their safety, reports Ryan Sabalow for the Sacramento Bee. Elizabeth Gamillo, Smithsonian Magazine, "A Puzzling Brain Disease Is Killing Black Bears in the Western United States," 30 Mar. 2021 Backlash has included governmental scrutiny on trading companies, notably Robinhood, and criticism that the real victims would be unwary latecomers who jumped on the bandwagon when the only way for things to go was down. al, "Is a GameStop-style stock fight ahead for Tanger Outlet malls?," 4 Mar. 2021 And how does such an ability endanger us to the consequences of stress, or keep us forever unwary of the risk such persistence continually places us within? Devin, Longreads, "Repetitive Stress," 2 Feb. 2021 And yes, microcap stocks are fertile ground for those running elaborate schemes to rip off unwary investors. Susan Tompor, Detroit Free Press, "Rising cases of COVID-19 stock scams threaten investors," 26 Dec. 2020 Rash and unwary, his playing partners, Francisco Molinari and Tony Finau, plunked their balls into the water. Bill Pennington, New York Times, "Count Tiger Woods Out? Not at Augusta National," 10 Nov. 2020 Weak government testing capacities and informal food supply chains means there is little oversight of traders and fishermen, and almost no protection for unwary consumers. Julien Chongwang, Quartz Africa, "Poisons are being used to beautify food on sale in African markets," 7 July 2020 But these peaceful surroundings frequently harbor poison ivy and other rash-inducing plants that can, in serious cases, compel unwary outdoors lovers to seek medical attention. cleveland, "Poison ivy and other pesky plants can turn summer fun into a season of suffering," 30 June 2020 As Frank promised, stalls in the Tucano were gentle and predictable, with none of the unpleasant surprises that some high-performance aircraft like to spring on unwary pilots. Lee H. Goldberg, Ars Technica, "Living the Top Gun dream, on a budget," 15 June 2020

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.

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First Known Use of unwary

1579, in the meaning defined above

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Statistics for unwary

Last Updated

2 Apr 2021

Cite this Entry

“Unwary.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/unwary. Accessed 13 May. 2021.

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More Definitions for unwary



English Language Learners Definition of unwary

: easily fooled or surprised : not aware of and careful about possible problems, dangers, etc.


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

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for unwary

Nglish: Translation of unwary for Spanish Speakers

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