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 There are good reasons to be wary of carbon offsets as a real climate solution, says Matthew Brander, a carbon-accounting researcher at the University of Edinburgh. Cathleen O'grady, The Atlantic, 20 May 2022 But Diane was wary of Scott’s history and religious background (Catholic), although the latter concern seems silly to her now. Rachel Hatzipanagos, Washington Post, 20 May 2022 Vangelis was wary of how record companies handled commercial success. Nicholas Paphitis, USA TODAY, 19 May 2022 Young players, Neely noted, have been wary of making mistakes under Cassidy. Globe Staff, BostonGlobe.com, 19 May 2022 Vangelis was wary of how record companies handled commercial success. Los Angeles Times, 19 May 2022 Democrats in Texas, the nation's top energy producing state, were also wary of the bill. Ellis Kim, CBS News, 19 May 2022 Scott said some schools worked with local and national interest groups to help students who are wary of disclosing personal information or their or their family’s documentation status. al, 18 May 2022 Europeans, more so than those in the U.S., have every reason to be wary of Russian aggression and harassment. Stephanie Zacharek, Time, 18 May 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

23 May 2022

Cite this Entry

“Wary.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/wary. Accessed 25 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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