Definition of wary in English:

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Pronunciation: /ˈwɛːri/

adjective (warier, wariest)

Feeling or showing caution about possible dangers or problems: dogs which have been mistreated often remain very wary of strangers a wary look
More example sentences
  • We should be wary of dangers to our liberty and privacy with the excuse of security.
  • Shrewd and wary was Leofric, careful and measured in all things, nothing beyond him.
  • She had learned too early in life to be wary and watchful, to worry and to expect the worst.
cautious, careful, circumspect, on one's guard, chary, alert, on the alert, on the lookout, on the qui vive, prudent;
attentive, heedful, watchful, vigilant, observant
informal wide awake, on one's toes, cagey
suspicious, chary, careful, distrustful, mistrustful, sceptical, doubtful, dubious;
guarded, on one's guard
informal leery


Late 15th century: from ware2 + -y1.

  • aware from Old English:

    Old English gewær has a West Germanic origin and is related to German gewahr. An early meaning was ‘vigilant, cautious’ as well as ‘informed’. Wary (Late Middle English) is from the same root.

Words that rhyme with wary

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

For editors and proofreaders

Line breaks: wary

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