wary

adjective
\ ˈwer-ē How to pronounce wary (audio) \
warier; wariest

Definition of wary

: marked by keen caution, cunning, and watchfulness especially in detecting and escaping danger

Other Words from wary

warily \ ˈwer-​ə-​lē How to pronounce wary (audio) \ adverb
wariness \ ˈwer-​ē-​nəs How to pronounce wary (audio) \ noun

Choose the Right Synonym for wary

cautious, circumspect, wary, chary mean prudently watchful and discreet in the face of danger or risk. cautious implies the exercise of forethought usually prompted by fear of danger. a cautious driver circumspect suggests less fear and stresses the surveying of all possible consequences before acting or deciding. circumspect in his business dealings wary emphasizes suspiciousness and alertness in watching for danger and cunning in escaping it. keeps a wary eye on the competition chary implies a cautious reluctance to give, act, or speak freely. chary of signing papers without having read them first

Examples of wary in a Sentence

Great critics are sometimes wary of great authors. Eliot and Pound usually sidled past Shakespeare. — William Logan, New York Times Book Review, 11 Feb. 2001 Though sycamore wood was much used, pioneers were wary of the tree's fuzzy leaves, which they believed brought allergies and even consumption. — Arthur Plotnik, The Urban Tree Book: An Uncommon Field Guide for City and Town, 2000 Modern literary novelists … wary of neat solutions and happy endings, have tended to invest their mysteries with an aura of ambiguity and to leave them unresolved. — David Lodge, The Art of Fiction, 1992 The store owner kept a wary eye on him. Investors are increasingly wary about putting money into stocks.
Recent Examples on the Web Lawson remained wary and laid out strict rules about when it could be used. Washington Post, 9 May 2022 However, engaging with this lucrative field can be daunting for individuals and companies wary of the complex and dynamic nature of digital marketing. Stephan Rabimov, Forbes, 7 May 2022 Southern legislators, wary of federal bureaucrats interfering with their region’s racial order, ensured that these new agricultural programs and dollars would be managed locally, under white control. Dania Francis, The New Republic, 5 May 2022 But now, even with riders returning, the stocks are getting punished as investors grow increasingly wary of expensive and riskier growth assets amid concerns about inflation and a possible economic slowdown. Fortune, 4 May 2022 The Department of Energy hopes that the funding can lead to better batteries that assuage the fears that still have many Americans wary of purchasing an EV. Caleb Miller, Car and Driver, 3 May 2022 Germany helped Finland and Sweden — Russia’s Nordic neighbors once wary of provoking Mr. Putin — inch closer to joining NATO. New York Times, 3 May 2022 Russia, wary of letting any more of its high-value Black Sea naval ships fall prey to Ukrainian missiles, is sheltering many of its vessels out of range in Sevastopol harbor in Crimea. Peter Weber, The Week, 30 Apr. 2022 The adjustment was probably welcomed by investors wary of how much the company is shelling out on its plans for an augmented- and virtual-reality enabled future. Clare Duffy, CNN, 27 Apr. 2022 See More

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

First Known Use of wary

15th century, in the meaning defined above

History and Etymology for wary

ware entry 2 + -y entry 1

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Time Traveler for wary

Time Traveler

The first known use of wary was in the 15th century

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Dictionary Entries Near wary

warworn

wary

war zone

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Statistics for wary

Last Updated

11 May 2022

Cite this Entry

“Wary.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/wary. Accessed 18 May. 2022.

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More Definitions for wary

wary

adjective
\ ˈwer-ē How to pronounce wary (audio) \
warier; wariest

Kids Definition of wary

: very cautious The baker's worries about ogres and bandits I thought exaggerated … However, I was wary of strangers.— Gail Carson Levine, Ella Enchanted

Other Words from wary

warily \ ˈwer-​ə-​lē-​ \ adverb
wariness \ ˈwer-​ē-​nəs \ noun

More from Merriam-Webster on wary

Nglish: Translation of wary for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of wary for Arabic Speakers

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