\ ˈwer How to pronounce ware (audio) \

Definition of ware

 (Entry 1 of 4)

1a : manufactured articles, products of art or craft, or farm produce : goods often used in combination tinware
b : an article of merchandise
2 : articles (such as pottery or dishes) of fired clay earthenware
3 : an intangible item (such as a service or ability) that is a marketable commodity



Definition of ware (Entry 2 of 4)

1 : aware, conscious was ware of black looks cast at me— Mary Webb
2 archaic : wary, vigilant


verb (1)
wared; waring

Definition of ware (Entry 3 of 4)

transitive verb

: to beware of : avoid used chiefly as a command to hunting animals


verb (2)
wared; waring

Definition of ware (Entry 4 of 4)

Examples of ware in a Sentence

Noun She sold her wares at the market. Adjective he's ware of the dangers that await him in the Antarctic

First Known Use of ware


before the 12th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1a


before the 12th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1

Verb (1)

before the 12th century, in the meaning defined above

Verb (2)

14th century, in the meaning defined above

History and Etymology for ware


Middle English, from Old English waru; akin to Middle High German ware ware and probably to Sanskrit vasna price — more at venal


Middle English war, ware "cognizant, watchful, prudent," going back to Old English wær, going back to Germanic *wara- (whence Old Saxon war "aware, careful," Old High German gewar, Old Norse varr, Gothic wars), going back to Indo-European *u̯oro-, ablaut derivative of *u̯er- "observe, perceive," whence Latin verērī "to show reverence for, fear," Tocharian B wär-sk- "smell (transitive and intransitive)," Latvian vērties "to look, watch," vērot "to observe," and perhaps Greek horáō, horân "to look, see"

Note: Greek horáō, horân has alternatively been seen as an outcome of an Indo-European base *ser- "keep an eye on, protect."

Verb (1)

Middle English waren "to be mindful, be on guard," going back to Old English warian "to be wary, guard, protect," going back to Germanic *warōjan- (whence Old Saxon waron "to attend to, protect," Old High German biwarōn, Old Norse vara "to warn," varask "to be on one's guard"), derivative of *wara- "aware" — more at ware entry 2

Verb (2)

Middle English, probably of Scandinavian origin; akin to Old Norse verja (past participle varithr, varthr to clothe, invest, spend) — more at wear

Learn More About ware

Time Traveler for ware

Time Traveler

The first known use of ware was before the 12th century

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war eagle

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Cite this Entry

“Ware.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/ware. Accessed 17 Aug. 2022.

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More Definitions for ware


\ ˈwer How to pronounce ware (audio) \

Kids Definition of ware

1 : manufactured articles or products of art or craft often used in combination silverware
2 : items (as dishes) of baked clay : pottery
3 : an article of merchandise Merchants were selling their wares.

More from Merriam-Webster on ware

Nglish: Translation of ware for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of ware for Arabic Speakers

Britannica.com: Encyclopedia article about ware


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