V2 Vocabulary Building Dictionary



Definition: 1. cautious and watchful; 2. openly distrustful

Synonyms: cautious, circumspect, watchful, mistrustful, suspicious, guarded

Antonyms: foolhardy, careless, unwary, trusting

Tips: To be wary means "to be cautious and guarded." If you are wary about something, you don't quite trust it. To do something warily is to do it cautiously. While wary and circumspect are synonymous, wary is, more specifically, "cautious and watchful." For example, you may be wary of rocks while barefoot in the water. Circumspect is more "cautious and prudent," in that someone who is circumspect wouldn't act until carefully considering the outcome: "He is very circumspect about entering into new business deals."

Usage Examples:

The children were taught to be wary of strangers. (cautious, mistrustful)

The company executives were wary of the board’s decision to merge with their biggest rival in the industry. (circumspect, suspicious)

We were wary of the strange dog at first, but he seemed friendly, so we walked over to pet him. (mistrustful, cautious)

We warily smiled at the car salesman as he approached us. (cautiously, guardedly) adverb

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