Definition of chary in English:

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Pronunciation: /ˈCHerē/

adjective (charier, chariest)

Cautiously or suspiciously reluctant to do something: most people are chary of allowing themselves to be photographed
More example sentences
  • Thereby proving the point that Mrs Hunt should be chary of not putting the work into her protagonist when she could in fact be missing out on the chance of giving voice to the distillation of contemporary gender politics for a generation.
  • Progress now happens but even so I am chary of believing the guest property (nearest the camera) will be ready for our mid-September holiday.
  • ‘Right after the article appeared, people that I know were very chary of saying anything about it to me,’ he says.
distrustful, mistrustful, skeptical, suspicious, dubious, hesitant, reluctant, leery, canny, nervous, apprehensive, uneasy
informal cagey, iffy



Pronunciation: /ˈCHerəlē/
Example sentences
  • Though Lelwica mostly holds Christianity in disfavor, in the end she invites readers to search out the possibilities within the tradition, charily specifying the points of greatest hope and least danger.
  • ‘Hi,’ she said charily and raised her hand in a small wave.
  • After a long, pregnant pause, she asked charily, ‘Can I… help you with something, my lord?’


Old English cearig 'sorrowful, anxious'; related to care. The current sense arose in the mid 16th century.

Words that rhyme with chary

airy, Azeri, canary, carabinieri, Carey, Cary, clary, contrary, dairy, Dari, faerie, glairy, glary, Guarneri, hairy, lairy, miserere, nary, Nyerere, prairie, Salieri, scary, Tipperary, vary, wary

For editors and proofreaders

Syllabification: char·y

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