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[nair-ee] /ˈnɛər i/
adjective, Older Use.
not any; no; never a:
nary a sound.
Origin of nary
1740-50; variant of ne'er a never a Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2015.
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Examples from the Web for nary
Contemporary Examples
Historical Examples
  • He is "only an or'nary person," to reach the rhythm of the original by adopting a slang form in not quite the slang sense.

  • That was the time when Samp should have been grubbing at his law books, but nary a grub for him.

    In Our Town William Allen White
  • nary a bit of hardtack, but the wagons will be along presently, and you can get all you want.

    An Autobiography of Buffalo Bill (Colonel W. F. Cody) Buffalo Bill (William Frederick Cody)
  • It's no odds to me if he has bushels of peanuts or nary a one.

    Uncle Rutherford's Nieces Joanna H. Mathews
  • But I done tol' him yo' wus promised 'em, an' yo'd git 'em not nary nother.

    The Gold Girl James B. Hendryx
British Dictionary definitions for nary


(dialect) not; never: nary a man was left
Word Origin
C19: variant of ne'er a never a
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 nary

1746, alteration of ne'er a, short for never a.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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