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Longman Dictionary of Contemporary English
chary
adjective
EXAMPLES FROM CORPUS
▪ Automakers are chary about shipping base cars for test drives, because those cars sell poorly.
▪ He understood, as well, why Fenella had been so chary of telling the entire truth.
▪ I would be chary of anything caught in these murky waters.
▪ The slaughter houses are chary of taking freeze-branded animals.
▪ Toby winning a victory over the headmaster on Monday night which made him chary of challenging him again on Wednesday.
The Collaborative International Dictionary
Chary

Chary \Char"y\ (ch[^a]r"[y^] or ch[=a]"r[y^]; 277), a. [AS. cearig careful, fr. cearu care. See Care.]

  1. Careful; wary; cautious; not rash, or reckless; as, the latest internet IPO's were shunned by investors made chary by the poor performance of the first wave of companies that went public.

    His rising reputation made him more chary of his fame.
    --Jeffrey.

  2. Saving; frugal; sparing; not spendthrift; -- often used with of; as, chary of his praise.

  3. Fastidious; picky; choosy.

Douglas Harper's Etymology Dictionary
chary

Old English cearig "sorrowful" (see care (n.)). Sense evolved 16c. from "full of care" to "careful." Cognate with Old Saxon carag, Old High German charag "sorrow, trouble, care." Related: Charily; chariness.

Wiktionary
chary

a. 1 (context obsolete English) sad; sorrowful; grievous. 2 Disposed to cherish with care; careful. 3 cautious; wary; shy. 4 sparing; not lavish; not disposed to give freely.

WordNet
chary
  1. adj. characterized by great cautious and wariness; "a cagey avoidance of a definite answer"; "chary of the risks involved"; "a chary investor" [syn: cagey, cagy]

  2. [also: chariest, charier]

Usage examples of "chary".

At Bahia Mar, I threaded my way past some parties I wanted to escape, and when I was aboard the Busted Flush, I was chary about turning on too many lights.

March, though of a charier hospitality, welcomed Fulkerson with a grateful sense of his admiration for her husband.

Chavigni, seizing the opportunity, told us it was because we were in love, and lovers are known to be chary of their words.

And doubtless Madame de la Saone would have been more chary of her person if she had been able to enchant with her face like you.

We are chary of well-spoken passengers who, at a given signal, become merciless pirates.

This statement Nogam had neglected to amplify, and Victor had been chary of too close questioning, lest it elicit too much in the hearing of others.

Other capital Richard had at his command, but already he was growing chary of encroachments upon principal.

They say she seemed chary, but was only likely waitin' for him to raise the price.

The American people have been chary of the word loyalty, perhaps because they regard it as the correlative of royalty.

The chariest maid is prodigal enough, If she unmask her beauty to the moon: Virtue itself 'scapes not calumnious strokes: The canker galls the infants of the spring, Too oft before their buttons be disclosed, And in the morn and liquid dew of youth Contagious blastments are most imminent.

  There was a lette Vere from Alexa, and another from Jill, telling her Brigadoon was taking a one-week charier to Martinique would be in Saint Lucia again the following Saturday.

They had at first made a constant demand on her purse, her talents and her time: then she grew tired of them, and felt more and more chary of being identified with a set which was in such ill-odour with that very same jeunesse doree whom Candeille had desired to please.

It seems my maternal grandfather grows chary of protecting his pure-blooded heir.