careful when dealing with somebody/something because you think that there may be a danger or problem synonym cautious wary (of somebody/something) Be wary of strangers who offer you a ride. wary (of doing something) She was wary of getting involved with him. He gave her a wary look. The police will need to keep a wary eye on this area of town (= watch it carefully, in case there is trouble). compare unwary Word Origin late 15th cent.: from ware ‘aware’ + -y.Extra examples Paula frowned, suddenly wary. The Venetians knew to keep a wary eye on Spanish imperial ambitions. The chip manufacturers are keeping a wary eye on the market. The strange look in his eyes made me wary of accepting his offer. You should be very wary of people offering cheap tickets.