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leery1

[leer-ee] /ˈlɪər i/
adjective, leerier, leeriest.
1.
wary; suspicious (usually followed by of):
I'm leery of his financial advice.
2.
Archaic. knowing; alert.
Origin
1790-1800
1790-1800; leer1 + -y1
Related forms
leerily, adverb
leeriness, noun
Can be confused
wary, weary, leery.
Dictionary.com Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2014.
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British Dictionary definitions for leeriness

leery

/ˈlɪərɪ/
adjective leerier, leeriest, learier, leariest
1.
(mainly dialect) knowing or sly
2.
(slang) (foll by of) suspicious or wary
3.
(slang) rowdy or boisterous
Derived Forms
leeriness, leariness, noun
Word Origin
C18: perhaps from obsolete sense (to look askance) of leer
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 leeriness

leery

adj.

"untrusting, suspicious, alert," 1718, originally slang, with -y (2), and perhaps from dialectal lere "learning, knowledge" (see lore), or from leer (v.) in some now-obscure sense. OED suggests connection with archaic leer (adj.) "empty, useless," a general Germanic word (cf. German leer, Dutch laar), of unknown origin.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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Slang definitions & phrases for leeriness

leery

adjective

Untrusting; suspicious; wary: He was leery of toting so much money/ Cheyfitz and Farrell exchanged leery glances

[1718+; probably fr British dialect lere, ''learning, knowledge'']


The Dictionary of American Slang, Fourth Edition by Barbara Ann Kipfer, PhD. and Robert L. Chapman, Ph.D.
Copyright (C) 2007 by HarperCollins Publishers.
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