Why was clemency trending last week?


[chair-ee] /ˈtʃɛər i/
adjective, charier, chariest.
cautious or careful; wary:
He was chary of investing in oil wells.
shy; timid.
fastidious; choosy:
She is excessively chary about her friends.
sparing (often followed by of):
chary of his praise.
Origin of chary
before 1000; Middle English; Old English cearig sorrowful (c(e)ar(u) care + -ig -y1); cognate with Old Saxon karag, Old High German karag (German karg scanty, paltry)
Related forms
charily, adverb
unchary, adjective
1. circumspect. 4. frugal.
1. trustful. 2. confident. 3. uncritical. 4. lavish. Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2015.
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Examples from the web for chary
  • Schneiderman is chary of talking too much now about his investigation.
  • Consumers, chary of spending, are hobbling domestic demand.
  • Reluctant to give money to poor countries, rich countries' governments became equally chary of collecting debts from them.
  • The change of tack may be because he is chary of the contempt the outside world holds for him.
  • The world's largest retailer is notoriously chary of unions, but a workers' revolt is unlikely.
  • In part, too, borrowing has slowed down dramatically because lenders have become much more chary about extending consumer credit.
  • Americans have traditionally been chary about intellectual-property rights.
  • Nearly all people are quick to censure but rather chary of praise.
  • As he had no idea of deceiving her, and always desired to please her, he was thus made chary of launching into expense.
  • But even while they were covering the event, some at the networks were chary.
British Dictionary definitions for chary


adjective charier, chariest
wary; careful
choosy; finicky
sparing; mean
Word Origin
Old English cearig; related to carucare, Old High German charag sorrowful
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition
© William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012
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Word Origin and History for 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.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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