Definition of leery in English:



  • Cautious or wary due to realistic suspicions.

    ‘a city leery of gang violence’
    • ‘This surprises me for I've always thought of him as an exacting craftsman and, therefore, leery of artistic pretensions.’
    • ‘They're a little leery of actually trying to amend the Constitution.’
    • ‘Before the practice took hold, some news directors, fearing pranks, were leery of airing amateur video.’
    • ‘He is a hard worker but many of his coworkers are leery of him.’
    • ‘We were a little leery about renting a car, having never driven on Bulgarian highways, but our fears were misplaced.’
    • ‘Businesses were a little leery, understandably, about investing and adding jobs.’
    • ‘Fazal Majid also has another good point, one that so far has kept me leery of purchasing music online.’
    • ‘Personally, I find the Independent so poor these days, that I'd very leery of accepting any conclusions from an article therein.’
    • ‘But the candidate was set in his ways, and his people were leery of tampering with his approach so late in the game.’
    • ‘The market turmoil and lack of good financial knowledge has made them leery of equities.’
    • ‘On the downside Craig is famously leery of publicity.’
    • ‘I've become leery of such statements, because I've heard them so many times.’
    • ‘I am leery of superlatives but am not inclined to argue with that.’
    • ‘It's therefore reasonable for me to be leery of liberals in general.’
    • ‘And, as we mentioned in the article you read, be leery of any company that asks for money up-front.’
    • ‘I was a little bit wary or a little bit leery because he had to pick the gun up and put it in the bag, so of course I was watching what he was doing.’
    • ‘I often feel this way when a book is turned into a movie - leery of having the images in my mind mixed with those on a big screen.’
    • ‘All of this anecdotal evidence has made me leery of the concept.’
    • ‘Range managers in Utah are now leery about gardening wild mountains.’
    • ‘He's also leery of reserve land being developed in such a way.’
    cautious, careful, circumspect, on one's guard, chary, alert, on the alert, on the lookout, on the qui vive, prudent
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Late 17th century: from obsolete leer ‘looking askance’, from leer + -y.