Being chary (pronounced CHAIR-ee) is being wary or cautious. If you lost two teeth in last year’s rugby season, you should be chary of signing up again this year.

Chary comes from the Old English word cearig for "sorrowful, careful," which is basically what you are if you’re chary. If you’re a little suspicious of something and mulling it over, you’re being chary. A synonym of chary is wary, and both include caution, but some definitions suggest that it's obvious when someone is wary — it shows — while being chary is more of an inside, or hidden, distrust.

Definitions of chary

adj characterized by great caution and wariness

chary of the risks involved”
“a chary investor”
cagey, cagy
showing careful forethought

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