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[uhn-wair-ee] /ʌnˈwɛər i/
adjective, unwarier, unwariest.
not wary; not cautious or watchful, as against danger or misfortune.
Origin of unwary
1570-80; un-1 + wary
Related forms
unwarily, adverb
unwariness, noun
incautious, indiscreet, rash, heedless.
careful, cautious. Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2015.
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Examples from the web for unwary
  • The focus is still on using shadows and stealth to avoid firefights while knocking off unwary enemies.
  • unwary animals that came to the pond and were covered with the liquid were unable to survive.
  • While sitting motionless with its mouth open wide, the turtle will wiggle the lure and entice unwary fish to investigate.
  • Income and franchise tax nexus standards also surprise the unwary business.
  • Alas, all too many unwary people mix drain cleaners with disastrous results.
British Dictionary definitions for unwary


lacking caution or prudence; not vigilant or careful
Derived Forms
unwarily, adverb
unwariness, noun
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 unwary

1570s, from un- (1) "not" + wary.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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