Definitions

from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 4th Edition

  • adj. On guard; watchful: taught to be wary of strangers.
  • adj. Characterized by caution: a wary glance at the black clouds.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

  • adj. Cautious of danger; carefully watching and guarding against deception, artifices, and dangers; timorously or suspiciously prudent; circumspect; scrupulous; careful.
  • adj. Characterized by caution; guarded; careful.

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • adj. Cautious of danger; carefully watching and guarding against deception, artifices, and dangers; timorously or suspiciously prudent; circumspect; scrupulous; careful.
  • adj. Characterized by caution; guarded; careful.

from The Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia

  • Cautious of danger; carefully watching and guarding against deception, artifices, and dangers; watchful; on the alert against surprise or danger; ever on one's guard.
  • Guarded; careful as to doing or not doing something; chary.
  • Characterized by caution; guarded.
  • Prudent; circumspect; wise.
  • Synonyms Careful, circumspect, etc. See list under cautious.
  • Same as warry.

from WordNet 3.0 Copyright 2006 by Princeton University. All rights reserved.

  • adj. marked by keen caution and watchful prudence
  • adj. openly distrustful and unwilling to confide

Etymologies

Middle English ware, from Old English wær; see wer-3 in Indo-European roots.
(American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth Edition)
From the adjective ware +‎ -y. (Wiktionary)

Examples

  • She sat in the chair opposite from him, her expression wary.

    Tempted by Your Touch

  • He stopped and slowly turned, his expression wary.

    Lake News

  • — And Celebrating A dispatch from Beijing: After the Peace Prize, China's democracy activists remain wary and watched.

    Under Surveillance

  • Washington should remain wary of attempts by Correa's regional allies to inflame the situation.

    Joel D. Hirst: Ecuador's Coup That Wasn't

  • Warren Buffett praised the U.S. government Tuesday for its efforts to heal the economy, but the influential investor said he expects a slow recovery as consumers remain wary of spending.

    POLITICAL HOT TOPICS: September 16, 2009

  • Yet some governments remain wary that such investment will lead to the 'development trap': a flood of cash that results in heightened corruption and largesse without building indigenous capacity, knowledge, management skills, or that allows movement up the global economic value chain.

    StephenGoldsmith: FDI with Chinese Characteristics

  • As Connecticut voters remain wary of Sen. Chris Dodd, one state Democrat is openly suggesting the five-term senator abandon his re-election bid 'for the good of the party.'

    Connecticut Dem says time for Dodd to go

  • (CNN) - As Connecticut voters remain wary of Sen. Chris Dodd, one state Democrat is openly suggesting the five-term senator abandon his re-election bid "for the good of the party."

    Connecticut Dem says time for Dodd to go

  • "In particular, reducing rating over-reliance will require finding appropriate replacements, and it will be important that the authorities remain wary of unintended adverse consequences."

    IMF urges credit rating agencies to provide greater clarity

  • Still, some economists remain wary about the potential for action at Thursday's meeting.

    BOE Weighs Conflicting Messages

Comments

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  • To lay eggs (north of England). Cf. warp.
    To curse or execrate (Lancashire).

    May 17, 2011

  • "Charlies face was suddenly wary". Eclipse by Stephenie Meyer page10

    October 4, 2010