be-ware

beware

[bih-wair]
verb (used with object)
1.
to be wary, cautious, or careful of (usually used imperatively): Beware such inconsistency. Beware his waspish wit.
verb (used without object)
2.
to be cautious or careful: Beware of the dog.

Origin:
1150–1200; Middle English, from phrase of warning be ware. See be, ware2

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World English Dictionary
beware (bɪˈwɛə)
 
vb (often foll by of)
to be cautious or wary (of); be on one's guard (against)
 
[C13 be war, from be (imperative) + warwary]

Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 10th Edition
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Etymonline
Word Origin & History

beware
c.1200, probably from a conflation of be ware (though the compound bewarian "defend" existed in O.E.). See wary.
Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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